Navigate Up

UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Senior Manager
Telephone: 412-578-9193 or 412-624-3212

Patients and medical professionals may call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762) for more information.

Federal Government Funds Center for Public Health Preparedness at University of Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, September 3, 2002 — The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) is implementing a $1 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish a Center for Public Health Preparedness, one of 15 CDC-sponsored preparedness centers nationwide charged with training the nation's public health, health care and public safety workforce in responding to terrorist incidents, infectious disease outbreaks and other public health threats. The funding is part of the $2.9 billion in bioterrorism appropriations signed in January by President Bush.

In announcing the establishment of the network of Centers for Public Health Preparedness, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson remarked, "The funding of these centers comes at a crucial period as the nation moves forward to improve its public health infrastructure to respond swiftly and effectively to threats and emergencies. This new funding will help centers identify, assess and improve critical gaps in preparedness for the state and the localities that they serve."

The center at the University of Pittsburgh will cover training of public health, health care and public service professionals in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Principal investigator is Margaret Potter, J.D., associate dean for public health practice, GSPH. Senior biodefense advisor is Samuel Watson, founder of the University's BioMedical Security Institute. A co-director for Ohio will be named soon.

Training programs will begin this fall. Working closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pitt's Center for Public Health Preparedness will provide ongoing crisis leadership training for senior officials in the fields of public health, emergency management, emergency medical systems and hospital emergency departments. This program will be led by Gerald Barron, deputy director of the Allegheny County Health Department; direct a surge-capacity training program for medical professionals such as physicians and nurses, who would assist public health officials during a bioterrorism emergency; and instruct rural hospital personnel in handling bioterrorism emergencies for 24 to 48 hours without outside assistance from state agencies, federal agencies and urban medical centers. This rural preparedness program will be spearheaded by the Center for Rural Health Practice, directed by Michael Meit, at the Bradford campus of the University of Pittsburgh in McKean County.

The 15 Centers for Public Health Preparedness will coordinate closely with the states' bioterrorism plans, the national bioterrorism training plan and the national public health workforce development initiative.

For more information on the network of centers, see http://www.phppo.cdc.gov.

Established in 1948, the GSPH at the University of Pittsburgh is world-renowned for contributions that have influenced public health practices and medical care for millions of people. It is the only fully accredited school of public health in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is one of the top-ranked schools of public health in the United States. It is one of 14 schools across the country to be designated a Public Health Training Center by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information about the GSPH, access the school's website at http://www.publichealth.pitt.edu.

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com