Integrating local public health agencies into the Homeland Security community
Reed, Patricia Diane
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After more than seven years of funding through The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local public health agencies have made inconsistent progress in fulfilling their Homeland Security objectives. Most progress has been made in those areas in which Public Health has previous experience. However, in those activities requiring integration with other responder agencies Public Health has lagged in developing effective capabilities in prevention, preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery. This thesis argues that several factors contribute to this lack of success, including funding structures and guidelines, the reluctance on the part of other responder agencies to include Public Health in emergency planning and response activities, and the organizational isolation in which Public Health has existed. In order for local public health agencies to meet their Homeland Security objectives, funding structures and guidelines must support local Public Health and public health agencies must be better integrated with their Homeland Security partners. Public health agencies at all levels and their leadership have the opportunity to effect organizational changes designed to accelerate the transformational process, enhancing their Homeland Security partnerships. Public Health agencies can be more effectively integrate into the larger Homeland Security community by demonstrating commitment to making these changes.
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