The September 11th attack and subsequent intentional release of anthrax spores via the U.S. postal system have focused policymakers’ attention on the preparedness and response capability of the nation’s public health system. The anthrax attacks put a tremendous strain on the U. S. public health infrastructure, an infrastructure that many experts argue has been weakened by years of neglect and under-funding. To better understand the preparedness gaps that exist, as well as the disparate functions and agencies that define public health in this country, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), in conjunction with George Washington University’s National Health Policy Forum (NHPF), convened a seminar on October 26, 2001, entitled, The U.S. Health Care System: Are State and Local Officials Prepared for Bioterrorism? How Should the Federal Government Assist?
n the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), in a September 13, 2001 memorandum to executive branch agencies, identified various hiring flexibilities that can be used to meet staffing needs in emergency situations. This report provides information on each of the flexibilities.
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