Oct 7, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Seven universities will share $10.9 million in federal funds to study the ability of state and local public health systems to respond to emergencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced yesterday.
With the grants, ranging from about $1.3 million to $1.7 million, schools of public health will "evaluate the structure, capabilities, and performance of public health systems for preparedness and emergency response," the CDC said in a news release.
The schools will establish "Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Centers" with the money, the agency said.
"These research centers will connect public health with scientists involved in business, engineering, legal, and social sciences to incorporate multiple perspectives into preparedness and response research which can be used to strengthen our nation's response capability," said Richard Besser, MD, director of the CDC's Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response.
In 2000 the CDC set up Centers of Public Health Preparedness to strengthen terrorism and emergency preparedness by connecting academic expertise with state and local health needs, especially in preparedness education, the agency said. The launching of the new research centers is required by the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006.
The seven schools receiving funding, with their research missions and grants, are:
- Emory University, Atlanta, creating and maintaining sustainable preparedness and response systems, $1,562,676
- Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, generating criteria and metrics to measure effectiveness and efficiency, $1,717,286
- Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, enhancing preparedness to address the risks of vulnerable populations, $1,495,398
- University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, enhancing the usefulness of training, $1,470,307
- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, creating and maintaining sustainable preparedness and response systems, $1,695,189
- University of Pittsburgh, creating and maintaining sustainable preparedness and response systems and generating criteria and metrics to measure effectiveness and efficiency, $1,701,845
- University of Washington, Seattle, improving communication in preparedness and response, $1,270,632
The CDC said it received more than 20 applications from schools of public health for the grants. The recommendations in a recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Research Priorities in Emergency Preparedness and Response for Public Health Systems, were considered in writing the selection criteria.
Oct 6 CDC news release