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Turning Point Sets the Stage for Bioterrorism Preparedness

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The Turning Point initiative has facilitated the development of valuable partnerships, given public health partners' experience and training in planning and collaboration, and has helped communities and public health agencies understand the need for effective public health infrastructures. This collaborative model is adaptable to other public health needs including developing a community response to a bioterrorism event. This publication describes various ways in which Turning Point partners have responded to such needs. For example, in spring 2002 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked public health departments across the country to write emergency preparedness plans for their states, including comprehensive plans for the use of proposed federal bioterrorism appropriations. Many Turning Point staff found they were at an advantage due to their Turning Point work, which had laid the groundwork for effective collaboration and therefore enabled them to move into the planning and application process quickly and effectively. In Jefferson County, Oregon, the Department of Health and Human Services has involved local partners and relied on the kind of collaborative efforts developed in the Turning Point model to incorporate emergency preparedness into its public health system. New York City's Turning Point partner, the New York City Public Health Partnership, contributes to a post-9/11 renewal by regularly bringing together and mobilizing a diverse set of public health stakeholders. These multiple examples demonstrate how the Turning Point model is highly translatable to new public health needs.