2011 SummitUp Blog Closes Today

March 15, 2011 by

The SummitUp blog is closing today. Thank you to all SummitUp bloggers and readers for your participation and support. We look forward to blogging again next year, leading up to the 2012 Public Health Preparedness Summit.

Next year’s Public Health Preparedness Summit will be held in Anaheim, California.

Online Summit Materials Available and Upcoming Deadlines

March 9, 2011 by

Hopefully you have fully recovered from the Summit. If you are trying to get your hands on presentations from the Summit, we have some directions available  on how to access them (assuming the presentation(s) are already uploaded).

  1. Visit the webpage: http://www.phprep.org/2011/Agenda.
  2. Now, click on “Searchable Schedule” under the “Agenda” tab.
  3. Click on the speaker’s name and you’ll find the presentation file (if uploaded).

Who was at the Summit?

If you want to check out who was at the 2011 Public Health Preparedness Summit, click here.

Continuing Education Evaluation Deadline

The deadline for completing the continuing education evaluation is March 28, 2011. Visit the CDC Training and Continuing Education Online website at www.cdc.gov/tceonline to complete the evaluation survey. Additional instructions are available at www.phprep.org/2011/agenda/evaluation.cfm.

2011 Public Health Preparedness Summit Survey Deadline

The Summit survey closes March 28, 2011. Upon completion of the survey, you will be entered into a drawing to win FREE registration, airfare, and three nights hotel accommodations at the 2012 Summit in Anaheim, CA. Visit www.phprep.org/evaluation to access the brief survey.

Road Mapping for Resiliency—How to be Strategic about It!

March 8, 2011 by

Road Mapping to Community Resiliency
Friday Interactive Session
8:30 AM–10:00 AM

Facilitator:
Rebecca Gehring, BA, MPH

Presenters:

Paul Epstein, BS
Nancy Carlson, BS

Paul Epstein of the Results That Matter Team, Epstein & Fass Associates and Nancy Carlson of the Minnesota Behavioral Health MRC, Minnesota State Department of Health, held an interactive session to discuss the importance of strategic planning for community resiliency by using the balanced scorecard approach. This approach allows an organization to align their activities to reach unified public health outcomes—community resiliency.

Over 40 people divided into small groups to participate in a basic strategy map tabletop exercise. The goal of the tabletop exercise was to develop a Community Public Health Preparedness Strategy Map. The exercise gave participants opportunities to discuss how community assets, community process and learning, and community implementation allow for  community health outcomes (strategic goals).

After the exercise, Carlson briefly described the functions of her behavioral health MRC unit and her experience with strategic mapping. She presented a real-world event and explained how she used the draft strategic road map during the fall 2010 flooding in Minnesota. This real world event helped validate what really worked when compared to the hypothetical steps and outcomes developed during the planning process. After the event, Carlson reviewed her lessons learned and revised the MRC unit’s strategic map so it actually aligned to her organization’s capabilities.

The revisions have lead to organizational change. Minnesota is now using the revised MRC road map to increase development and implementation of the key elements necessary to respond to a major spring flood. Instead of recruiting volunteers to develop regional strike teams, counties and regions will now be asked to put together their own qualified volunteers with leadership roles.

In conclusion, it is important to understand that a strategic road map is a living document which  can and should be adapted and/or revised to address needs within the local community.  Efforts like these will ultimately lead to developing and improving resiliency.

Rebecca Gehring is a Program Associate on the Public Health Preparedness Team at the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

2009 Novel H1N1 Pandemic After-Action Conferences at the Local Public Health Level: Using Third Party Facilitators and an Innovative Process to Gather Data

March 7, 2011 by

Facilitator/Presenter
Sharon Medcalf, RN, MEd

Presenter:
Keith Hansen, BS

Sharon Medcalf, RN, MEd, and Keith Hansen from the Center for Preparedness Education (CPE) in Omaha, NE, presented a captivating session about after-action conferences on Thursday at the 2011 Public Health Preparedness Summit.  The focus of the session was about how the CPE acted as a third-party facilitator for seven local health departments’ after action conferences (AAC) in response to H1N1.

The CPE staff found that as an impartial third party, they could allow all individuals involved with the response to be active participants in the AAC, and by using a consensus workshop method, the AAC’s could be run more efficiently and effectively.  CPE staff designed a survey which meets HSEEP requirements, and CDC and state requests, and then disseminated it to all individuals involved in the response.

The data from the surveys was shared with each local health department, and served as a framework for discussion points during the AAC.  After facilitating each AAC, the resulting comments on strengths and areas needing improvement were categorized and delivered to each department, essentially giving all of the content needed in order to write a comprehensive after-action report.  Because the CPE is funded entirely by grants, it was able to provide this service free to all interested health departments within the state.

For more information about the CPE process, and how to use it in your jurisdiction, contact Sharon Medcalf and Keith Hansen at the Center for Domestic Preparedness at Center@preped.org.

Connor Scott is a Program Associate on the Public Health Preparedness Team at the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Please Complete the 2011 Summit Evaluation Survey

March 4, 2011 by

Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in the 2011 Public Health Preparedness Summit! We will continue to include more blog posts here about Summit sessions, but we would also like to ask all Summit attendees to participate in a brief survey so we can ensure that the Summit is just as successful as next year. We appreciate your feedback and time.

If you complete the survey, you will be entered into a drawing to win FREE registration, airfare, and three nights hotel accommodations at the 2012 Summit in Anaheim, CA. The survey closes Monday, March 28, 2011. To take the survey, visit www.phprep.org/evaluation .

Continuing Education Credit
The deadline for completing the continuing education evaluation is March 28, 2011. Visit the CDC Training and Continuing Education Online website at www.cdc.gov/tceonline to complete the evaluation survey. Additional instructions are available at www.phprep.org/2011/agenda/evaluation.cfm.

Thank you and we look forward to receiving your feedback.

What is the National Alliance for Radiation Readiness?

March 3, 2011 by

Facilitator:

James Blumenstock, MA

Presenters:

William Stephens, MS
Michael Heumann, MPH, MA
Adela Salame-Alfie, PhD

What is the National Alliance for Radiation Readiness (NARR)? It’s the voice of health in radiological preparedness! It’s a new and growing coalition, striving to improve the nation’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a radiological event. Wednesday’s session about the NARR was an energetic discussion of the past, present, and future.

Adela Salame-Alfie, PhD, New York Department of Health, presented the evolution of the NARR. It grew with recognition by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) need for better coordination following the 2006 Polonium-210 Russian spy poisoning incident to the 2008–2009 discussions among public health association members about priorities and gaps in t he field and the need for a coalition.

Jim Blumenstock, MA, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), focused on the present—how the organizations that currently make-up the NARR (American Medical Association, American Public Health Association, Association of Public Health Laboratories, ASTHO, Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, Health Physics Society, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Disaster Life Support Foundation, National Emergency Management Association) are working together. The NARR is developing tools, improving communication, and raising awareness of radiological issues.

Focused on the present, but with an eye toward the future, Michael Heumann, MPH, MA, Oregon Public Health Division, gave the crowd a sobering assessment of the current state of radiological preparedness. Results of the 2010 CSTE  membership survey indicated that in nearly every measure of public health capacity and capability, the nation is poorly prepared to respond to a major radiation event. For example, a fundamental step of preparedness, the development of response plans, has not occurred in 45 percent of responding states.

Not all is bleak, however. Response was better related to those who have exercised a dirty bomb scenario, for on-call coverage and other communications, and having mutual aid agreements in place.

Finally, Bill Stephens, MS, Tarrant County Public Health (TX), aimed squarely on the future and challenged the audience to join the NARR in becoming the community of practice around radiological preparedness.

The conversation covered the waterfront—from talking about the need to improve preparedness for the very type of substance that was used against the Russian spy in 2006 (alpha-emitters) to a comment about new FBI trainings for investigating criminal activities related to radiation. States, especially those without nuclear power plants, need to know what the real threats are in order to prioritize and plan for likely scenarios.

Following an event, messaging may need to be ahead of the signs and symptoms exhibited by the exposed. Like the community in Goiania, Brazil in 1985 (where 130,000 people flooded emergency rooms after an exposure, but only 20 had signs and symptoms of radiation sickness), the public may not wait for leaders to “be sure” about what the situation is. They’ll take immediate action and we need to be ready for that! How can radiation be integrated with current surveillance systems so as to minimize burden on local public health? How can we encourage continuity planning for businesses and families?  These are some of the questions that will guide the NARR’s work moving forward.

The NARR kick-off meeting is March 24-25, 2011 following the “Bridging the Gaps: Public Health and Radiation Emergency Preparedness” conference in Atlanta, GA. Look for the NARR website to launch in June 2011 with information and tools to help us become a more protected, resilient nation. For more information, contact Sterling Elliott at selliott@astho.org.

Sterling Elliott is a Senior Analyst of Public Health Preparedness at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. She provides staff support to the National Alliance for Radiation Readiness (NARR).


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