Osterholm Michael T.; Birkhead, Guthrie S.; Meriwether, Rebecca A.Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: Fall 1996 Original Article: PDF Only Buy Abstract With the increased demand for public health surveillance data comes the development of new surveillance systems and the expansion of existing systems. A corresponding increase in financial and personnel resources to support data collection, particularly at the local public health department level, has been documented. Adequate and timely surveillance data are critical to both overall public health program design and evaluation and to meet emerging surveillance needs. Without an emphasis placed on priorities and resources for public health surveillance, the foundation upon which public health decisions are based is threatened. © Aspen Publishers, Inc.