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CDC Awards UAlbany's School of Public Health $5 Million to Fund Center for Public Health Preparedness

Contact: Michael Parker (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 27, 2004) -- The University at Albany's School of Public Health has been awarded $5 million in funding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue serving as a national Center for Public Health Preparedness (CPHP). The CPHP works to improve the capacity of the public health workforce to respond to current and emerging public health threats with a focus on bioterrorism and infectious disease outbreaks.

As one of 23 such programs affiliated with schools of public health across the country, the Center for Public Health Preparedness will continue its efforts to train the public health workforce and offer educationally-relevant programs related to preparedness issues.

“This award underscores the strength of our School of Public Health and its commitment to education and protecting the health of all New Yorkers and the nation,” said UAlbany Interim President John R. Ryan.

"We are pleased to be recognized by the Centers for Disease Control as a site for preparedness training,” said Peter Levin, dean of the School of Public Health at UAlbany. “I am hopeful that a higher level of preparation will be achieved by our focus on making distance training available for first responders."

“This award is possible due to the hard work of many people here at the School, as well as our partners at the NYS DOH,” said Dr. Robert G. Westphal, director of the center and former coordinator for Bioterrorism Preparedness for the New York State Department of Health (DOH). We look forward to continuing our work to assist the public health workforce to prepare for challenges of the 21st century.”

During the coming year, the CPHP will continue its monthly satellite broadcast series on preparedness-related topics, the first of which is scheduled to air on Thursday, October 7th from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.: “Learning from and Preparing for SARS” with special guest speaker James G. Young, MD, from the Ministry of Public Safety and Security in Toronto, Canada. The Center also plans to develop additional, in-depth modules to complement the already successful on-line, for-certificate course: "Terrorism, Preparedness and Public Health: An Introduction," for which nearly 4,000 public health professionals and partners have registered since the course launched in June, 2004 (

In addition, the CPHP will launch another on-line course developed in collaboration with the UAlbany School of Education: "Emergency Preparedness in Schools: Prevention, Response, and Recovery." The course, geared towards educators and public health professionals, focuses on how to prepare for and manage disasters in schools and will be offered on-line in the spring of 2005. It covers such topics as legal and ethical issues in emergency preparedness and response, diseases and bioterrorism, natural and industrial disasters, creation of safe and healthy classrooms and schools, and development of comprehensive school crisis plans. It also addresses the specific psychosocial crises of violence and child abuse.

For more information about the CPHP and its programs, visit

This publication was supported under by a Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number U90/CCU2242249 from CDC. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.


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