The recovery effort ended with a ceremony at the World Trade Center site Thursday, and a health expert in Iowa this week says the September 11th attacks were a wake-up call for more action in bioterrorism preparedness. Susan Polan — government relations director for the Trust for America’s Health — says we learned many hard lessons on nine-eleven. She says Iowa and the rest of the country has a long way to go to develop a responsive public health system.Polan is in Iowa to meet with public health and emergency management experts to discuss the state’s ability to handle bioterrorism emergencies and chronic diseases. While Polan says Iowa’s “come a long way” toward being well-prepared, she says there are a whole series of activities into which the state hasn’t even started to delve, such as a nationwide health tracking network.Before the recent anthrax scares, Polan says few people were giving much consideration to a terrorist threat of that sort. She says more emphasis needs to be placed on developing the connection between the environment and chronic diseases, like asthma or cancer.Polan says more needs to be done to safeguard the public’s health and safety, including a comprehensive nationwide tracking network that’d track chronic diseases and potential environmental-related factors. For more information, surf to “healthyamericans.org”.
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