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bioterrorism, emergency preparedness and response, public health systems



  1. Costich, Julia Field JD, PhD
  2. Scutchfield, F Douglas MD


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Practice Program Office has issued a Public Health Preparedness and Response Capacity Inventory to help state and local public health systems assess their progress towards achievement of the critical capacities and benchmarks specified in the federal Supplemental Funds for Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism. The criterion validity of the capacity inventory was assessed by comparing selected state and local agency responses with documentation provided by the agencies to corroborate their answers. Content validity assessment took the form of a mailed survey that also identified the most important questions from the perspective of a separate set of state and local officials. Responses generally upheld the validity of the capacity inventory, although circumstantial threats to validity were identified in the testing process. The instrument's use has been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by approximately half the states and over 800 local public health entities. An interactive electronic version includes a scoring mechanism that allows agencies to judge progress towards the critical capacities and benchmarks over time.