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New England Rural Health News

Newsletter of the New England Rural Health RoundTable

Bioterrorism Preparedness:
For Hospitals and Public Health

Hospital Bioterrorism Preparedness Tool

The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has developed a needs survey that hospitals can download and use as a checklist for assessing their capacity to handle potential victims of bioterrorist attacks or for evaluating existing emergency plans. The survey is part of an initiative launched in 2000 to examine the needs for health system preparedness and capacity for bioterrorist attacks. The purpose is to develop and pilot test tools that will help hospitals and public health systems assess their ability to respond effectively to a bioterrorist attack. For additional information, contact AHRQ Public Affairs, (301) 594-1364: Farah Englert, (301) 594-6372 or .

APHA Report Card on Public Health Readiness

In September, the American Public Health Association issued a report card on the progress made in the past year to improve public health readiness highlighting areas in need of more attention. You can view the report card at the following website:

Rural Communities and Emergency Preparedness

The need for well-prepared emergency response agencies was never more evident than on September 11, 2001. While much of the aftermath of those events resulted in an increased focus on particular urban areas, it is also clear that such a focus is also necessary in rural areas. Rural areas are not only home to 65 million Americans, but are also the sites of the country's farms, numerous power facilities, and weapons of mass destruction. A lack of emergency-related resources in rural areas may compromise future readiness. The report can be found on the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy website at or

Newsletter Fall 2002
Page 8
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