198804 Partnership for Effective Emergency Response (PEER): Evaluating the coalition-building process across health disciplines and communities in Massachusetts

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 2:45 PM

Sharon Ravid, MPH, CPH , Institute for Community Health, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA
Ryann Bresnahan , Institute for Community Health, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA
Harold Cox, MSSW , School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA
Jennifer M. Tsoi, MPH , School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA
Justeen Hyde, PhD , Institute for Community Health, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA
Coordinated communication between health disciplines is essential for timely and efficient response to emergencies and disasters. However, many health disciplines do not have a history of working together to develop standard communication protocols and procedures. In 2007, under the leadership of the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH), five health disciplines in 62 communities throughout the Greater Boston Metropolitan area were brought together with funding from the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) to form and strengthen multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional partnerships. Representatives from public health agencies, hospitals, community health centers, long-term care facilities and emergency medical services collaboratively developed a set of communication protocols and participated in training to increase capacity for information sharing during emergencies.

At baseline, many of the organizations within each health discipline had independently developed emergency communication and response plans and there were no formal procedures in place to structure communication within or across disciplines. This presentation will highlight the strategies used to build a multi-disciplinary coalition whose purpose is to develop a communication system for initial notification and real-time sharing of information during emergencies. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative evaluation data collected during this 18-month project, this presentation will share the successes and challenges faced in building a sustainable coalition among diverse health disciplines. These lessons learned can be applied to other forming partnerships or collaborations in a variety of fields.

Learning Objectives:
Describe one set of strategies for building a coalition among health disciplines with diverse agendas. Design an evaluation strategy of qualitative and quantitative methods to assess a coalition-building process. Discuss the challenges of creating a sustainable coalition.

Keywords: Coalition, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: N/A

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have an MPH degree from the Boston University School of Public Health and I am a member of the first class of CPH certificates. I have been evaluating this project for over a year. I have also been involved with the evaluation of the Cambridge, MA Advanced Practice Center (APC) under NACCHO for over a year.
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.