example, in the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Many of the people staffing the CDC operations center were HHE Program staff.
After 9/11, the HHE Program received substantial funding for a truck and trailer for field deployment, and it is responsible for their maintenance and use. The program also received funding to construct a garage to house the vehicle and for staging purposes. The equipment is housed at the program’s Cincinnati facility.
Pre- and post-deployment medical follow-up have been provided for program staff deployed in emergency response activities. Telephone guidance and other resources have been made available to assist staff with mental health issues when considered necessary (NIOSH, 2008a).
HHE Program outputs include official numbered reports and less formal letter reports in response to requests for HHEs and technical assistance. The program also produces articles for peer-reviewed publications, website content, and presentations at professional, trade, and agency conferences and meetings. The primary means by which the program communicates its findings is through numbered HHE reports. The current format of numbered reports includes a page of HHE “highlights” written in lay terms, which includes information about the HHE request, program activities and findings, and bulleted lists of what managers and employees can do to minimize investigated hazards. A more technical summary follows the highlights section. The body of the report then provides background, investigation methodologies and criteria, results, discussion, conclusions, recommendations, and a list of references. Test results are also made available.
Technical assistance and letter reports can be very similar in scope to numbered HHE reports or may be much more focused and answer specific questions or provide referrals as necessary.
Between 1996 and 2006, the HHE Program produced 495 numbered HHE reports, 503 letter reports for other field investigations, and 1,999 technical assistance or consultation letter reports (NIOSH, 2007b). The committee reviewed several numbered and letter reports provided by the HHE Program, as well as several HHE reports obtained elsewhere. These and other HHE Program outputs are discussed and evaluated at greater length in Chapters 3 and 4.