Implementation of State Bioterrorism Plans under Way. (Recent Health Care Developments)
Comprehensive State plans to build stronger public health systems and better prepare for bioterrorism have been approved, marking the first time that Federal, State, and local governments have created a unified plan for responding to public health emergencies resulting from terrorism.
With full approval of their plans, States, territories, and municipalities receive the remaining 80 percent of their share of nearly $1.1 billion in bioterrorism grants and can begin building stronger public health systems, coveting the spectrum from stronger disease surveillance to better-prepared hospitals.
President Bush signed into law in January a bioterrorism appropriations bill that sent $1.1 billion to 62 States, territories, and three major cities (Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City) to strengthen local capabilities to deal with public health emergencies related to terrorism. The District of Columbia was counted as a State in the funding formula.
States and local governments will use grant money to further develop comprehensive bioterrorism preparedness plans, upgrade infectious disease surveillance and investigation, enhance the readiness of hospital systems to deal with large numbers of casualties, expand public health laboratory and communications capabilities, and improve connectivity between hospitals and local and State health departments to enhance disease reporting. …