National Health Preparedness and Response Centers: Revisiting the Increasingly Critical Need to Expand Cooperative Emergency Response Capabilities in the United States

Donald A. Donahue, Frederick M. Burkle, Ronald R. Blanck

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

In 1999, a robust National Health Preparedness and Response Center was conceptualized and piloted, but never fully operationalized. This study revisits the expansive, coordinated efforts invested in this concept, considered an overdue remedy for persistent shortfalls in medical Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High Yield Explosives training, proficiency, and preparation. The concept defined a robust mission for longstanding, proven programs for prepositioning equipment and associated training of personnel. This study explores the reasons that ended military and governmental support, attendant funding, and operations of the created Joint/Interagency Civil Support Center, which ceased on September 30, 2006. Unfortunately, the concept remains relevant. Major gaps in disaster medical response capabilities have been recognized for decades. Experts from the Institute of Medicine, United States Northern Command, and multiple academic centers and professional organizations have identified these shortcomings, but the national response posture remains disjointed, under-resourced, and based upon obsolete planning premises. Given increasing threats, the authors recommend revisiting the collaboration of military, civilian, academic, and governmental resources that once established the Joint/Interagency Civil Support Center as a multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary model for a new National Health Preparedness and Response Center coordinated framework for enhanced resilience and operational response capabilities on a national level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-366
Number of pages9
JournalDisaster medicine and public health preparedness
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • biological and radiation disasters
  • chemical
  • disaster preparedness
  • disaster response
  • multidisciplinary national response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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