The University of Pittsburgh MIDAS National Center of Excellence, in cooperation with the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice and the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard School of Public Health, presented the Dynamics of Preparedness Conference in Pittsburgh, October 22–24, 2012. This public health systems conference brought together researchers, public policy makers, and research sponsors to present, critique, and propose innovative methods for the study of emergency preparedness in public health systems. The workshop brought together 200 participants who heard presentations from speakers such as Dr. Nicole Lurie of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Dr. Ali Khan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response.
Purpose: The past decade has seen unprecedented investments in research on preparedness from many sectors of government and the private sector. Numerous reports have appeared, evaluating the preparedness status of states and communities. Dynamics of Preparedness will convene researchers from diverse disciplines to present, critique, and consider the future of research on emergency preparedness in public health systems.
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Each year, Public Health Adaptive Systems Studies (PHASYS) seeks applications for pilot studies that expand the research capability of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in the field of public health systems research, with a strong focus on preparedness.
PHASYS is pleased to announce the 2011 Pilot Study recipient, Shawn T. Brown, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and Research Fellow, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center for his study “The Geospatial Area and Information Analyzer (GAIA), a visualization tool for understanding emergency preparedness through geospatial analysis.”As one of the missions of the PHASYS project is to provide a deeper understanding and quantification of emergency preparedness capability, having the ability to map and model such capability geospatially is critical. As part of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study, Dr. Brown’s group has been developing the Geospatial Area and Information Analyzer to provide the ability to create information based visualization for public health. As part of a PHASYS Arm 1’s Public Health Systems Indicators Project, Luis Duran has augmented the National Association of County and City Health Officials 2008 Survey of Local Health Departments and done preliminary mapping of the data, creating the PHASYS Arm 1 Local Health Departments Preparedness dataset. In Brown’s Pilot Study, an interactive, web-based application of Duran’s dataset will be created to provide a dynamic information-based presentation for public health officials to explore this resource. The application will give public health officials, researchers, and the general public the capability to explore this important dataset visually and geographically, providing an intuitive way to interact with the information.