Effect of Variations in State Emergency Preparedness Laws on the Public Health Workforce’s Willingness to Respond in Emergencies

Year: 2012
Funding: NNPHI PHS Natural Experiment Award
Status: Completed

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This project will assess whether state laws influence the public health workforce’s willingness to respond (WTR) in emergencies. The project’s aims are: 1) Identify and classify variations in emergency response laws in the 50 U.S. states; 2) Assess the association between specific state emergency preparedness laws and WTR during emergencies among the public health workforce (including health department staff and emergency medical services (EMS) workers); 3) Assess whether public health workers believe that particular future legal protections would enhance their WTR during emergencies. Aim 1 involves a mapping study to identify and classify specific emergency response laws in all 50 states. Aims 2 and 3 employ multi-level regression analyses using data from an existing national EMS worker sample and from an on-going survey of local health departments. Project deliverables include a protocol, codebook, and data set from the legal mapping study; peer-reviewed manuscripts; non-technical, translational materials; and conference presentations. Additional deliverables include a research brief detailing findings, policy/practice implications, and recommendations as well as a written report on the project and its findings for wide dissemination. Findings will be released within 12 months of the project’s completion. The project will collaborate with: 1) National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians; 2) Butler County Health Department in Missouri; and 3) Multnomah County (OR) Health Department.

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Lainie Rutow & Daniel Barnett
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

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