14 Healthcare and Public Health

According to the Department of Homeland Security, “The Healthcare and Public Health Sector protects all sectors of the economy from hazards such as terrorism, infectious disease outbreaks, and natural disasters. Because the vast majority of the sector's assets are privately owned and operated, collaboration and information sharing between the public and private sectors is essential to increasing resilience of the nation's Healthcare and Public Health critical infrastructure. Operating in all U.S. states, territories, and tribal areas, the sector plays a significant role in response and recovery across all other sectors in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. The Healthcare and Public Health Sector is highly dependent on fellow sectors for continuity of operations and service delivery, including: Communications, Emergency Services, Energy, Food and Agriculture, Information Technology, Transportation Systems, and Water and Wastewater Systems.”1

The Department of Homeland Security issued the Healthcare and Public Health Sector-Specific Plan (HPH SSP) in 2010. The introductory portion of this chapter summarizes this plan, and the remainder of this chapter emphasizes bioterrorism and epidemiology—the focus of homeland defense and security. The major results of this emphasis are:

  • Healthcare and public health (HPH) is a complex CIKR: HPH is a complex system spanning interdependent state, local, tribal, and federal government agencies and ...

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