A state-based analysis of public health preparedness programs in the United States

Leslie M. Beitsch, Samata Kodolikar, Tim Stephens, Daniel Shodell, Art Clawson, Nir Menachemi, Robert G. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objectives. Given the national effort to respond to the challenge of terrorism post-9/11, this study examined the organizational structure of state public health preparedness programs across the country, their administration, and the personnel and resources supported through federal cooperative agreements and state funds. Methods. In Fall 2004, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials surveyed state public health preparedness directors of all 50 states and territories of the United States regarding the organizational structure, administration, personnel, and resources of the state public health preparedness programs. Results. Individuals representing 45 states and the District of Columbia responded to the web-based questionnaire for a response rate of 88.2%. States tended to subdivide their organizations into regions for preparedness purposes. More than half the established preparedness regions (53.8%) were created post-9/11. Preparedness program directors frequently reported directly to either the state health official (40.0%) or a deputy state health official (33.3%). Responsibility for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) cooperative agreements was predominantly vested in one person (73.3%). Federal resources were found to support needed preparedness workforce (CDC mean=117.1 full-time equivalents [FTEs]; HRSA mean=10.6 FTEs). In addition, 36.6% of the states also contributed to the public health preparedness budget. Conclusions. This study of state public health agency preparedness provides new information about state-level organizational structure, administration, and support of preparedness programs. It offers the first comprehensive insights into the approaches states have adopted to build infrastructure and develop capacity through CDC and HRSA funding streams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-745
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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