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Public Health Specializations and Education Needs to Support Homeland Security

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Master's thesis

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Understanding and identifying critical public health human capital needs and their appropriate knowledge bases are necessary if the United States is to adequately prepare for and respond to acts of terrorism and natural disasters. Understanding the deficiencies that exist by public health specialization, and identifying the knowledge base required for each specialization will help the United States to meet its future requirements for homeland security. Since public health professional needs as viewed by the Federal Government may be different from those viewed from a state or localrural perspective, three distinct groupsareas were sampled and analyzed federal, metropolitan, and rural. Personal or telephone interviews were conducted with TN state public health and homeland security personnel medical doctors, nurses, and public health officials in metropolitan areas and family practitioners andor clinic personnel, nurses, and public health department personnel in rural areas. On the federal side, interviews were conducted with officials in the U.S. Public Health Service, Departments of Homeland Security and Energy, and the U.S. Postal Service. A detailed questionnaire was developed to guide and direct the 24 interviews. The interviews were conducted to determine what these professionals believe are the medical specializations necessary to respond to homeland security mandates, and what education these specialists would need to discharge their public health duties. For this study, public health was defined as follows individuals private, volunteers, and those funded by a government entity responsible for safeguarding and enhancing the health of the community in relation to homeland security. The results of the study may help policy makers attract, train, retrain, and retain the appropriate cadre of professionals necessary to support the public health mission relating to homeland security.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Civil Defense

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