211697 H1N1: Public health response at the local level

Monday, November 9, 2009

Diane Downing, RN, PhD , Department of Human Services, Arlington County, Virginia, Arlington, VA
Jeanne A. Matthews, PhD, RN , Arlington County DHS, Public Health Division and Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies, Arlington, VA
Claire Dobbins, MS, RN , Kane County Health Department, Aurora, IL
Theresa Heaton, MPH, BSN , Family Health Division Director, Kane County Health Department, Aurora, IL
Novel influenza A (H1N1) appeared in April 2009 as an new flu that brought a flurry of public health activity to help communicate risk, mitigate adverse consequences, and to prepare for a potential pandemic. Local public health departments faced a number of challenges to help identify positive cases, prevent the spread of disease, consider enforcement of isolation or possible quarantine, keep up with daily changes in guidance from the CDC and inform local communities about the highly visible strain of flu. This session will describe local public health interventions in two different states, from the onset of H1N1 until November, 2009, with a focus on the response of public health nurses. Registered Nurses are critical to any local health department's success in responding to public health emergencies. Their training in the nursing process can assist teams who have limited knowledge or experience in the Incident Command System to quickly identify and solve problems as well as disseminate critical communication. Participants will have the opportunity to compare challenges, best practices, and successful interventions that helped local areas link effectively with state and federal resources to prepare for and to effectively deal with the epidemic.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe two local public health department responses to managing information in local communities during the H1N1 "swine flu" pandemic. 2. Identify two preparedness actions that public health nurses are conducting at the local level to mitigate adverse consequences from an influenza pandemic. 3. Describe how the nursing process can augment the Incident Command System in public health emergency responses.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in the leadership of the H1N1 event at the local public health agency level. In addition, I collaborated with the staff to develop our pandemic planning, including the communications plan and continuity of operations.
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.