Regroup, Refocus, Refresh: Sustaining Preparedness in an Economic Crisis
Over the past 10 years, significant measures have been taken to build and sustain the public health capability and capacity to plan for and respond to disasters and other emergencies. Federal funding and lessons learned after the events of September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina, have largely been responsible for our accomplishments in domestic preparedness. Initiatives such as the National Health Security Strategy, Presidential Policy Directive 8, and the Presidential Executive Order pertaining to medical countermeasures following a biological attack, represent a call to action for a stronger and more robust approach to ensuring the health and safety of all communities. However, as federal funds gradually diminish and the economic outlook grows bleak—local, state, tribal, and territorial health departments are no longer aimed to do more with less, but in some cases find themselves faced with the decision to eliminate critical preparedness activities—the kind that could eventually mean life or death.
But this situation is not new to the public health community! At other times we have found ourselves faced with what appeared to be insurmountable challenges and we’ve found a way through them. Our strength has come from our collective voice, perseverance, and commitment to the public health mission and this time will be no different. The 2012 Public Health Preparedness Summit will focus on how to move forward in an environment of limited resources. Public health professionals and our partners from across the nation will present new research, new tools, and new practices to build and sustain a progressive public health preparedness infrastructure at the local, state, tribal, and territorial levels. Join your colleagues at the Summit and take the opportunity to regroup, refocus, and refresh your approach to public health preparedness!
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