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Biosecur Bioterror. 2005;3(2):113-8.

Lessons learned from a regional strategy for resource allocation.

Author information

1
Rural and Community Health Institute, Health Science Center, Texas A&M University System, College Station, 77840, USA. edwards@tamhsc.edu

Abstract

Two qualitative case studies focus on the allocation of CDC funds distributed during 2002 for bioterrorism preparedness in two Texas public health regions (each as populous and complex as many states). Lessons learned are presented for public health officials and others who work to build essential public health services and security for our nation. The first lesson is that personal relationships are the cornerstone of preparedness. A major lesson is that a regional strategy to manage funds may be more effective than allocating funds on a per capita basis. One regional director required every local department to complete a strategic plan as a basis for proportional allocation of the funds. Control of communicable diseases was a central component of the planning. Some funds were kept at the regional level to provide epidemiology services, computer software, equipment, and training for the entire region. Confirmation of the value of this regional strategy was expressed by local public health and emergency management officials in a focus group 1 year after the strategy had been implemented. The group members also pointed out the need to streamline the planning process, provide up-to-date computer networks, and receive more than minimal communication. This regional strategy can be viewed from the perspective of adaptive leadership, defined as activities to bring about constructive change, which also can be used to analyze other difficult areas of preparedness.

PMID:
16000042
DOI:
10.1089/bsp.2005.3.113
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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