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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Avian overture: How pandemic training builds public health and safety partnerships

Mary Clark, JD, MPH, Kerry Dunnell, MSW, and Garrett W. Simonsen, MSPS. Advanced Practice Center for Emergency Preparedness, Cambridge Public Health Department, 119 Windsor Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, 617-665-3688, mclark@challiance.org

Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma highlighted the need for coordinated multidisciplinary response to emergencies and disasters. These recent natural disasters, in combination with concerns about pandemic influenza, have underscored the importance of collaborative training and planning for all public health and public safety officials. In September 2005, Cambridge Public Health Department Advanced Practice Center hosted a multi-discipline, multi-jurisdiction avian flu pandemic tabletop involving nine communities and Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The exercise aggressively pushed communication among city departments and disciplines, as well as across municipal boundaries and various levels of government, with a goal of moving toward stronger public health and public safety partnership in emergency planning and response. The exercise simulated response to an avian flu scenario and observed and evaluated participants' response to aid future planning. The use of an avian flu scenario achieved both practical and strategic goals to present a model for emergency and disaster training that brings together a wide range of public health and public safety partners with a view toward a more comprehensive inclusion of public health in emergency preparedness efforts and response. CPHD has since replicated this exercising methodology in a number of settings to demonstrate its scalability. This paper outlines how an emerging public health threat provided an exercise opportunity that increased visibility of public health in emergency preparedness by: 1) clarifying emergency response roles in a public health emergency, 2) building local community partnerships, 3) clarifying local and state response functions, and 4) building capacity for multi-jurisdictional cooperation.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: Public Health Infrastructure,

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Experiences and Exercises in Responding to Epidemics and Bioterror Events

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA