and establishing mechanisms to communicate credible, reliable, and actionable data. This chapter also includes invited remarks from community representatives and audience members.
The state- and federal-level governmental responses to medical and health-related issues around the Deepwater Horizon disaster are dedicated to developing surveillance approaches based on the best available science, to providing needed health services to affected communities as part of surveillance, and to collecting the necessary data to ensure that responses to future disasters are based on an even stronger evidence base. In this chapter, state health officials from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas describe the oil spill response from their respective states. Federal representatives from the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Environmental Protection Agency also discuss current response activities.
There is an important distinction but critical connection between the goals of surveillance and the goals of research. This chapter explores research methodologies and available data sources (including ongoing health surveillance and surveys) that could be used to monitor effects of the Gulf oil spill. Panelists discussed characteristics of a surveillance framework that can efficiently and effectively identify and monitor potential short- and long-term health effects and help ensure the establishment of an integrated and coordinated health-monitoring system.