Schools of public health act as a resource by providing expertise to strengthen our nation's emergency response systems. In response to the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), there is an immediate and critical need to define research priorities for the Centers for Public Health Preparedness (CPHP) at schools of public health. It is because of this crucial need, that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) convened an ad hoc committee, conducted a fast-track study, and issued the book entitled Research Priorities in Emergency Preparedness and Response for Public Health Systems. The book defines a set of near-term research priorities for emergency preparedness and response in public health systems. These priorities will be used by the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response (COPTER) to help develop a research agenda that will in turn be used to inform research funding opportunity announcements.
After considering the information presented during the public meeting and workshop and based on its expert judgment, the committee identified four priority areas for research that represent specific important aspects of systems of public health preparedness. The four areas are
- enhancing the usefulness of training;
- improving timely emergency communications;
- creating and maintaining sustainable response systems; and
- generating effectiveness criteria and metrics.