A Stronger Health Department Rises From 9/11 Attacks
March 9, 2006
by Mary Beth Sheridan
...A recent report by Trust for America's Health
, a nonprofit group that evaluates disaster readiness, highlighted shortcomings such as the District's lack of laboratory facilities to test for deadly pathogens and the need for a plan to ensure that health professionals report to work in the event of an outbreak.
More generally, the city Health Department suffers from a legacy of neglect, underfunding and leadership changes, said Shelley Hearne, executive director of the nonprofit group.
However, she said, "the signs have been very positive recently. They've had more stable leadership. [Emergency preparedness] has gotten a lot of attention."
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