156115 Partners in prophylaxing: Building public health surge capacity

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Eileen Scanlon, BS, RN , Nassau County Department of Health, Mineola, NY
Kristine Qureshi, RN, DNSc , Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Elizabeth Ablah, PhD, MPH , Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS
Leslie Horn, MPH , School of Nursing, Center for Health Policy, Columbia University, New York, NY
Kristine Gebbie, DrPH, RN , School of Nursing, Columbia University, New York, NY
A timely, coordinated response would be necessary in the event of an intentional release of a biological agent across a county. For anthrax, which mirrors many other respiratory diseases, rapid delivery of prophylaxis to those believed to have been exposed is especially critical. Operation RAPID (Responder Alert Prophylaxis Initiative Drill), a mass prophylaxis point of dispensing exercise, was held to test the ability of Nassau County, New York (1.3 million residents) to respond to such an attack. Operation RAPID resulted from the partnership of local Nassau County agencies, including the department of health, nine fire battalions, the Vocational Education and Extension Board, law enforcement, twelve hospitals, the office of emergency management, and the New York Consortium for Emergency Preparedness Continuing Education. The exercise tested the abilities of the partner agencies to: 1) setup PODs; 2) order drugs and supplies form the county stockpile; 3) inform staff and their families to report for prophylaxis; 4) distribute prophylaxis to staff and their families; and 5) communicate progress, problems, and resource needs between POD sites and their respective EOCs. Operation RAPID successfully coordinated the actions of all the county agencies that would be involved in an actual response. The drill gave participants an important opportunity to meet exercise objectives and practice the skills they had been taught through an education process which began with an orientation to POD operations and was followed by hands-on POD training. The willingness of multiple agencies participating was overwhelming cited as the most positive aspect of the drill.

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss strategies for bringing multiple community partners together. 2) Describe a logical progression of POD operation training and exercising.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.