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July 14, 2020

Evidence-Based Practice for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response: Recommendations From a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Report

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Colorado Trust, Denver, Colorado
  • 2National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Washington, DC
JAMA. Published online July 14, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.12901

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has brought national attention to the importance of the work of state, local, tribal, and territorial public health agencies in protecting and securing the nation’s health. These agencies are routinely making difficult decisions about how to respond effectively to COVID-19, such as implementing nonpharmaceutical interventions and addressing the needs of at-risk populations. As in other fields, knowing what is effective requires scientific evidence. Yet, the evidence base that informs the actions of public health agencies in preparing for and responding to emergencies is limited and uneven and fails to meet the needs of public health emergency preparedness and response (PHEPR) practitioners for clear and accessible guidance. These deficiencies not only impede the efforts of these practitioners who are working to protect the lives and health of US residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also threaten the health security of the nation.

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