The Secretary, in collaboration with the Secretary of Defense, and in consultation with relevant public and private entities, shall develop core health and medical response curricula and trainings by adapting applicable existing curricula and training programs to improve responses to public health emergencies.
On a periodic basis, products prepared as part of the program shall be rigorously tested and peer-reviewed by experts in the relevant fields.
The education and training activities described in subparagraph (A) may be carried out by Federal public health, medical, or dental entities, appropriate educational entities, professional organizations and societies, private accrediting organizations, and other nonprofit institutions or entities meeting criteria established by the Secretary.
In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary may carry out activities directly or through the award of grants and contracts, and may enter into interagency agreements with other Federal agencies.
In coordination with the working group under subsection (a), the Secretary shall establish advisory committees in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3) to provide expert recommendations to assist such working groups in carrying out their respective responsibilities under subsections (a) and (b).
For purposes of paragraph (1), the Secretary shall establish an advisory committee to be known as the National Advisory Committee on At-Risk Individuals and Public Health Emergencies (referred to in this paragraph as the “Advisory Committee”).
The Advisory Committee shall be composed of such Federal officials as may be appropriate to address the special needs of the diverse population groups of at-risk populations.
For purposes of paragraph (1), the Secretary shall establish an advisory committee to be known as the Emergency Public Information and Communications Advisory Committee (referred to in this paragraph as the “EPIC Advisory Committee”).
The EPIC Advisory Committee shall make recommendations to the Secretary and report on appropriate ways to communicate public health information regarding bioterrorism and other public health emergencies to the public.
The EPIC Advisory Committee shall be composed of individuals representing a diverse group of experts in public health, medicine, communications, behavioral psychology, and other areas determined appropriate by the Secretary.
The Secretary shall review the recommendations of the EPIC Advisory Committee and ensure that appropriate information is disseminated to the public.
The Secretary may establish 20 officer positions in the Epidemic Intelligence Service Program, in addition to the number of the officer positions offered under such Program in 2006, for individuals who agree to participate, for a period of not less than 2 years, in the Career Epidemiology Field Officer program in a State, local, or tribal health department that serves a health professional shortage area (as defined under section 254e(a) of this title), a medically underserved population (as defined under section 254b(b)(3) of this title), or a medically underserved area or area at high risk of a public health emergency as designated by the Secretary.
The Secretary may establish at accredited schools of public health, Centers for Public Health Preparedness (hereafter referred to in this section as the “Centers”).
To be eligible to receive an award under this subsection to establish a Center, an accredited school of public health shall agree to conduct activities consistent with the requirements of this subsection.
The Secretary, in collaboration with the Centers and other public or private entities shall establish core curricula based on established competencies leading to a 4-year bachelor’s degree, a graduate degree, a combined bachelor and master’s degree, or a certificate program, for use by each Center. The Secretary shall disseminate such curricula to other accredited schools of public health and other health professions schools determined appropriate by the Secretary, for voluntary use by such schools.
The Secretary, in collaboration with the Centers and other public or private entities shall facilitate the development of a competency-based training program to train public health practitioners. The Centers shall use such training program to train public health practitioners. The Secretary shall disseminate such training program to other accredited schools of public health, health professions schools, and other public or private entities as determined by the Secretary, for voluntary use by such entities.
The Secretary shall ensure that the core curricula and training program established pursuant to this subsection respond to the needs of State, local, and tribal public health authorities and integrate and emphasize essential public health security capabilities consistent with section 300hh–1(b)(2) of this title.
In consultation with relevant public and private entities, the Secretary shall define the existing knowledge base for public health preparedness and response systems, and establish a research agenda based on Federal, State, local, and tribal public health preparedness priorities. As a condition of receiving funding from the Secretary under this subsection, a Center shall conduct public health systems research that is consistent with the agenda described under this paragraph.
The Secretary shall give priority under this section to the funding of research and other studies related to priority countermeasures.
In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consider using the biomedical research and development capabilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs, in conjunction with that Department’s affiliations with health-professions universities. When advantageous to the Government in furtherance of the purposes of such paragraph, the Secretary may enter into cooperative agreements with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to achieve such purposes.