30 J.L. Med. & Ethics 184 (2002)
Preparedness on the Frontline: What's Law Got to Do With It; Lichtveld, Maureen; Hodge, James G. Jr. ; Gebbie, Kristine; Thompson, F. E. Jr.

handle is hein.journals/medeth30 and id is 542 raw text is: Preparedness On The Frontline:
What's Law Got To Do With It?
Maureen Lichtveld, James G. Hodge Jr., Kristine Gebbie, F E. Ed Thompson, Jr.,
Diane I. Loos
ABSTRACT
The article provides an overview of current work toward identifying core competencies for
public health emergency and bio-terrorism response, including law-related competencies. It
demonstrates how competency sets are interrelated and how they provide a framework for
developing preparedness training for public health leaders, public health and health care
professionals, law enforcement, public health attorneys, and others. The health and safety of
America's communities hinge on the nation's public health workforce-the estimated 448,254
public health professionals and 3 million related workforce professionals who form the
expanded public health system that protects us during times of national crisis and in our daily
lives. The response capacity of our health agencies and communities and their ability to
respond effectively will be unpredictable without adequate training. Education in the core
competencies in emergency preparedness and bio-terrorism response is essential. Preparedness
at the front-line means that public health leaders and administrators must be able to commu-
nicate information, roles, capacities, and legal authorities to all emergency response partners
during planning, drills, and actual emergencies. Each public health worker must be able to
describe his or her communication role in emergency response within the agency, with the
media, and with the general public. Law enforcement and state government representatives
must understand the legal powers of their agencies and of public health agencies for coordi-
nated response, mitigation, and recovery efforts in a public health emergency event.

S ix strategic elements are required for
effective long-term improvements in work-
force preparedness for health emergency and bio-
terrorism response:I
1. Monitoring the workforce composition;
2. Identifying competencies and developing
curriculum;
3. Designing an integrated learning delivery
system;
4. Using incentives to assure competency;
5. Conducting evaluation and research; and
6. Ensuring financial support.

The number of public health workers is esti-
2
mated at 448,254. This represents a decrease in the
past twenty years in the ratio of public health work-
ers to population served. We have little information
about the job functions and credentials of this
workforce. National efforts are underway to identi-
fy core competencies required by individuals for
21 st century public health practice. The identifica-
tion of required competencies and the development
of a related curriculum provide guidance for train-
ing, retraining, and preparedness of the workforce.
Public health law competencies are an important
part of the knowledge base needed for practice and
especially for preparedness for bioterrorism.

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