Preparedness on the frontline: What's law got to do with it?

Maureen Lichtveld, James G. Hodge, Kristine Gebbie, F. E. Thompson, Diane I. Loos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The article provides an overview of current work toward identifying core competencies for public health emergency and bio-terrorism response, including law-related competencies. It demonstrates how competency sets are interrelated and how they provide a framework for developing preparedness training for public health leaders, public health and health care professionals, law enforcement, public health attorneys, and others. The health and safety of America's communities hinge on the nation's public health workforce - the estimated 448,254 public health professionals and 3 million related workforce professionals who form the expanded public health system that protects us during times of national crisis and in our daily lives. The response capacity of our health agencies and communities and their ability to respond effectively will be unpredictable without adequate training. Education in the core competencies in emergency preparedness and bio-terrorism response is essential. Preparedness at the front-line means that public health leaders and administrators must be able to communicate information, roles, capacities, and legal authorities to all emergency response partners during planning, drills, and actual emergencies. Each public health worker must be able to describe his or her communication role in emergency response within the agency, with the media, and with the general public. Law enforcement and state government representatives must understand the legal powers of their agencies and of public health agencies for coordinated response, mitigation, and recovery efforts in a public health emergency event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-188
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Law, Medicine and Ethics
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy


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