195044 A comparative study of radiological threat environments and radiation control

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lisa C. McCormick, MPH , Health Care Organization and Policy, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL

In 2004 the Institute of Medicine released a report highlighting a lack of research to identify planning assumptions for effective public health organizational disaster preparedness, response and performance. This study addresses this gap by focusing on one aspect of the systems' ability to respond to a radiological incident: the Radiation Control Program (RCP). We examine the organizational structures of each state RCP and the respective state radiological threat environment.


This study was carried out in three phases. First, radiological threat was assessed in each state by indentifying the number of 'system' and 'event' variables within each state. Subject matter experts then weighed 'system' variables according to complexity of the system, how reliant parts of the system are on one another, and the potential impact of a catastrophic failure on human health, environment, and economy for an overall threat score. State RCPs were compared according to the amount of written documentation of laws and regulations (formalization); the extent to which similar work is performed (standardization of function); and the number of state agencies responsible for radiation control activities (centralization).


The results will be completed by July 2009. Results will indicate if RCPs are structured with a high degree of formalization, standardization of function, and centralization and whether there is a relationship between these variables and radiological threat.


This research offers a systematic review of the organizational structure of Radiation Control Programs in the U.S. These findings have implications meaningful to public health policy and emergency policy decisions.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss how states are grouped according to the radiological threat variables identified in this study. Describe the organizational structural attributes of Radiation Control Programs in differing states. Identify the relationship between radiological threat and the structural attributes of Radiation Control Programs.

Keywords: Radiation, Emergency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dissertation research for DrPH; have also worked and published in the field of public health preparedness for over 8 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.