This paper is one of the four interrelated action agenda papers resulting from the National Summit on Public Health Legal Preparedness (Summit) convened in June 2007 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and multi-disciplinary partners. Each of the action agenda papers deals with one of the four core elements of public health legal preparedness: laws and legal authorities; competency in using those laws; coordination of law-based public health actions; and information. Options presented in this paper are for consideration by policy makers and practitioners — in all jurisdictions and all relevant sectors and disciplines — with responsibilities for all-hazards emergency preparedness.
Advancing and protecting the public's health depends upon the coordination of actions by many, diverse partners. For effective public health preparedness, there must be effective coordination of legal tools and law-based strategies across local, state, tribal, and federal jurisdictions, and also across sectors such as public health, health care, emergency management, education, law enforcement, community design, and academia.