156132 Veterinarians as partners in public health preparedness: Qualitative and Quantitative Needs Assessment Results

Monday, November 5, 2007: 8:45 AM

Elizabeth Ablah, PhD, MPH , Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS
Lindsay N. Benson, MPH , Center for Public Health Preparedness, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY
June Beckman-Moore, BA , Center for Public Health Preparedness, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY
Kristine M. Gebbie, DrPH, RN , Joan Grabe Dean (acting), School of Nursing, Hunter College CUNY, New York, NY
Veterinarians are important leaders and partners in public health emergencies involving zoonotic diseases. As part of the New York Consortium on Emergency Preparedness Continuing Education's effort to coordinate and implement emergency preparedness training for New York, qualitative (N=12) and quantitative (N=529) needs assessments were conducted with veterinarians. Participants represented various New York counties, years of experience, and specialties. The majority of participants reported they had received no training in emergency preparedness; however, more than 80% reported being at least somewhat likely to participate in training on bioterrorism or zoonoses. Three levels of emergency preparedness training for veterinarians were requested. 1) Brief - providing an overview of the incident command system and County Animal Response Teams (CARTs), family preparedness, and foreign and emerging zoonotic diseases, 2) More in-depth- for specific types of veterinarians, 3) Extensive- for veterinarians willing to make the time commitment to become credentialed to function as members of response teams. Common barriers to receiving training included lack of time and having poor relationships with local health departments. In fact, only one out of four survey respondents reported that they had a relationship with their local health department and only a small proportion was involved in CARTs. Veterinarians are an untapped resource for local emergency preparedness and must be actively recruited to participate in local response planning and exercising. Training must be provided with consideration of the training needs they require.

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss the emergency preparedness training needs of veterinarians 2) Describe strategies for partnering with veterinarians

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.