185021 Johns Hopkins Pandemic Flu Communication Project – Defining Communication Strategies for the Greater Johns Hopkins Audience

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 1:06 PM

Basil A. Safi, MPH, PE, CHES , Center for Communication Programs, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Mary Lasky , Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, MD
Jim Williams , Center for Communication Programs, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – Center for Communication Programs (CCP) worked closely with JH Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response develop an internal pandemic influenza (PI) communication response plan to prepare faculty, staff, and students for a possible PI outbreak in the Baltimore region. These preparedness efforts were borne from international infectious disease lessons learned that exposed CCP's field programs to the numerous changes that exist in preparing countries for outbreak situations. CCP's Global Program for Avian and Pandemic Influenza has worked with 15 countries for AI/PI infectious over the past two years and has folded these experiences directly into the PI planning processes for the Hopkins community.

To adequately cover the wide range of audiences that JH has throughout it's many departments and divisions, 27 constituent conversation groups (N=287, ages 18-62, 69% Female, 31% Male) made up of 17 groups of staff, 9 groups of students, and 1 group of faculty were administered to hear people's opinions, concerns, and expectations on work-related and general preparedness issues associated with PI. Conversation syntheses revealed that the majority of participants were “somewhat concerned” about pandemic influenza and that 1/3 were “not concerned”. Emerging themes of key concerns were related to leadership response, overwhelming healthcare systems, and gaps in the information systems. Findings on the expectations on the institution indicated that 66% believe Hopkins is “somewhat prepared” to handle a locally-based epidemic, whereas ¼ thought Hopkins was “not very prepared”. These comprehensive findings were preceded by a preparedness literature review of 16 universities, 16 state/county governments, 20 private businesses, 18 federal government agencies, and 13 associations/special interest groups.

Learning Objectives:
The objectives of this presentation will be to inform conference attendees on the specific needs of the Johns Hopkins Community, with the specific attention drawn to their views on the general pandemic preparedness of the University: • Identifying key issues and concerns regarding JHU response to a possible Avian Influenza (bird flu) pandemic situation • Understanding what specifically concerns faculty, staff, and students within the university community about a possible bird flu epidemic • Learning the kinds of actions that faculty, staff, and students have already taken to prepare themselves and their families for a pandemic influenza outbreak in the Greater Baltimore/Washington area • Determining the barriers that faculty, staff, and students see in overcoming their resistance to preparedness activities

Keywords: Prevention, Workplace Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a co-author of this paper.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.