Sep. 17 2010

The National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health was selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as one of 14 new national centers to provide training to workers involved in public health preparedness and response to emergencies.

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Irwin Redlener

The 14 centers are tasked with creating a standardized set of skills and training for workers who respond to all manner of emergencies including natural disasters, terrorist attacks, emerging infectious disease, health emergencies, environmental threats, and/or other major chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear events.

“We are delighted to receive this prestigious designation,” said Irwin Redlener, MD, director, of NCDP and a professor at the Mailman School. “In the event of an ‘all hands on deck’ emergency, public health workers trained at our Center will have the full range of human resources and core competency tools necessary to support response and recovery, and solve problems under emergency conditions.  This is an enormous but worthwhile task and one that has been a critical necessity since 9/11.”

The grant to the Mailman School’s NCDP is approximately $5 million over five years. Dr. Redlener, MD, is the principal investigator. David Abramson, PhD, assistant professor of clinical Sociomedical Sciences, is co-PI.

The CDC’s effort to create the centers, known formally as "Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers" (PERLCs), fulfills a mandate in the 2006 Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act. The selection process for the 14 centers of excellence came under the auspices of the Association of Schools of Public Health as well as the CDC.