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.
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.
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, 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.
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.