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  • Preparing the public health workforce (developing and evaluating strategies and tools to train and exercise the public health workforce to meet responsibilities for detection, mitigation, and recovery in varied settings and populations);

  • Improving timely emergency communications (evaluating characteristics of effective risk communication in emergency settings and system enhancements to improve effective information exchange across diverse partners and populations under emergency conditions); and

  • Improving information management to increase use (scenario modeling and forecasting; information and knowledge management tools to improve the availability and usefulness during crisis decision making).

The committee conducted a public meeting and workshop (December 18–20, 2007), with invited experts giving their views on research priorities in emergency preparedness and response for public health systems. Based on the committee’s expert judgment, as well as information exchanged in the public meeting and workshop, we identified four top-priority research areas.

The committee recommends that COTPER give priority to the following four areas of research in its upcoming funding solicitation for Centers for Public Health Preparedness (CPHPs):

Recommendation 1: Enhance the Usefulness of Training

CPHPs should conduct research that will create best practices for the design and implementation of training (e.g. simulations, drills, and exercises) and facilitate the translation of their results into improvements in public health preparedness.

Recommendation 2: Improve Communications in Preparedness and Response

CPHPs should conduct research that will identify and develop communications in relation to preparedness and response that effectively exchange vital and accurate information in a timely manner with diverse audiences.

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