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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 2911-2921; doi:10.3390/ijerph110302911
Article

Can Merging the Roles of Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Management Increase the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Emergency Planning and Response?

1,†
 and 2,†,*
1 Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB 7435, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA 2 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M University, 1266 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843, USA These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 February 2014 / Revised: 25 February 2014 / Accepted: 26 February 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparedness and Emergency Response)
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Abstract

Some jurisdictions have reduced workforce and reallocated responsibilities for public health preparedness and emergency management to more efficiently use resources and improve planning and response. Key informant interviews were conducted in six counties in North Carolina (USA) to discuss perceptions of the challenges and opportunities provided by the new shared positions. Respondents feel that planning and response have improved, but that requirements related to activities or equipment that are eligible for funding (particularly on the public health side) can present an impediment to consolidating public health preparedness and emergency management roles. As the financial resources available for public health preparedness and emergency management continue to be reduced, the merging of the roles and responsibilities of public health preparedness and emergency management may present jurisdictions with an effective alternative to reducing staff, and potentially, readiness.
Keywords: emergency preparedness; emergency response; planning emergency preparedness; emergency response; planning
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Vielot, N.A.; Horney, J.A. Can Merging the Roles of Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Management Increase the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Emergency Planning and Response? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 2911-2921.

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