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From November 2003 to May 2004, the University of South Carolina Center for Public Health Preparedness and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control cosponsored a 6-month-long Academy for Public Health Emergency Preparedness. Six-member teams made up of public health staff and community partner representatives (N = 78) attended from their respective health districts. The Academy consisted of three 6-day training sessions designed to prepare the teams to complete a team-based covert biological bioterrorism tabletop exercise. Program evaluation results revealed increases in (1) public health emergency preparedness core competencies; (2) capacity to plan, implement, and evaluate a tabletop exercise; and (3) successful collaboration and partnership formation between participating Public Health District teams and their local partner agencies. Lessons learned are also described.
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