Regionalization of public health preparedness and response refers to the development of public health systems that span the different regions of a metropolitan area.
In this article, four collaborative case studies that focused on the Washington metropolitan area, or National Capital Region (NCR), were described. The goals of the case studies were to investigate the configuration and impact of regional public health structures on preparedness and response. The data collected encompassed the work experience of the first author, observations, document review, and interviews with 19 health officials and other individuals in the NCR.
A lack of a formal structure and ongoing questions as to the role of the federal government characterized public health regionalization efforts in the Washington metropolitan area.