Dr. Gulzar Shah, associate dean of research at the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health at Georgia Southern University examines temporal trends in preparedness capacity. In view of the critical role local health departments (LHDs) play among agencies responsible for responding to natural and man-made emergencies, the researchers examined the LHDs’ emergency preparedness and capacity. They compared LHDs in North Carolina with those across the country for preparedness along eight domains. Significant declines in emergency preparedness were noted from 2010 to 2012 for five out of eight domains, raising questions about our national priority concerning this important function of public health agencies. These findings have numerous implications, some of which are covered in this commentary.
[Photo: Dr. Gulzar Shah]