Thursday, May 12, 2005

How to measure your public health department

Trust, but verify.
The Gipper was right.. and let's apply that to other spheres of life, politics and governance.

Terrorism and Emergency Preparedness in State and Territorial Public Health Departments gives a general overview, Assessment of Epidemiologic Capacity in State and Territorial Health Departments reviews how well prepared public health is to deal with an epidemic and provides some data on improvements since 9/11, and Improvement in Local Public Health Preparedness and Response Capacity talks about how one health department in particular improved as the result of improved resources.

Since the tens of thousands of tons of weaponized smallpox have never been accounted for, this just might be relevant. It might be especially relevant to us, for a ready-made model on how to optimize biological warfare has been created for the Portland Metro area, and published. Therefore, a lazy terrorist, or one with some bad stuff but without the resources to research how to best deliver it, might just find Portland the optimal target, since Los Alamos already did the homework for him.

Of course, if we have a good public health department, we will be better equipped for the inevitable humongous earthquake which every seismologist I've every spoken agrees is lurking.... for preparing for one hazard also prepares you for many others, and a very large earthquake will require public sanitation methods pretty much like those required for dealing with biowarfare.

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