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November 6, 2008

GSPH gets $8.4 million for emergency response research center

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded $8.4 million over the next five years to the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) to create a Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center. The center’s experts will develop methods to evaluate emergency response plans and best practices to handle public health emergencies caused by the spread of infectious diseases, defective water and sewage systems, natural disasters or intentional acts.

“The capacity of local governments to respond to public health disasters varies greatly from region to region,” said Maggie Potter, principal investigator of the grant and associate dean and director of the Center for Public Health Practice at GSPH.

“We know the difference between a poor response and an effective one based on actual outcomes, but we know much less about the underlying reasons why some plans work well and others fail.”

Potter and her team will focus initially on infectious diseases, such as the flu, to develop criteria and metrics for emergency preparedness, model their effectiveness using sophisticated computer-based techniques and develop new standards for emergency responses to improve quality of life for community members. 


The center also will focus on emergency preparedness in vulnerable communities — those that typically lack access to resources and services.

The Pitt center is one of seven being established and funded nationwide by the CDC over the next five years.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 41 Issue 6

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