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October 22-24, 2012

University of Pittsburgh University Club
123 University Place, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260

The University of Pittsburgh MIDAS National Center of Excellence, in cooperation with the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice and the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard School of Public Health, invite researchers, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows to the Dynamics of Preparedness Conference in Pittsburgh, October 22–24, 2012.

Purpose: The past decade has seen unprecedented investments in research on preparedness from many sectors of government and the private sector. Numerous reports have appeared, evaluating the preparedness status of states and communities. Dynamics of Preparedness will convene researchers from diverse disciplines to present, critique, and consider the future of research on emergency preparedness in public health systems.

  • Dynamics describes the complex interactivity among numerous governmental, private, and voluntary components of public health systems.
  • Systems must adapt to emergencies and disasters —both as individuals, agencies, and organizations and as system components affecting the populations served—in ways that often produce unexpected, secondary impacts.
  • Preparedness includes prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery relevant to infectious disease outbreaks as well as other emergencies and disasters.


  1. Compile research on public health systems that support preparedness, specifically highlighting innovative methods and novel approaches.
  2. Critique the rigor and quality of output from this research arena, noting the findings and insights with implications for public policy and practical application.
  3. Catalogue the issues and problems where the evidence base for preparedness policy and practice remains weak as an agenda for future research and seek solution-focused innovations. 

Dynamics of Preparedness will feature sessions in:

  • Decision Support: from research to application
  • Methods and Innovations: methodological challenges and novel multi-disciplinary approaches
  • Modeling: use of computational, conceptual, and mathematical modeling to explore legal frameworks, resource deployment, and operational efficiency and effectiveness under resource-constrained conditions
  • Impacts:  demonstrations, observational studies, and comparisons focused on the outcomes of response to public health emergencies
  • Progress of Research: presentation of studies on the critical themes of system sustainability, communications, workforce capabilities, and criteria and metrics and on the cross-cutting issues of legal infrastructure and special-needs populations
  • Translation: utility and application of research results for policy making and practice 


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