263708 How to Involve Special Needs Populations in the Development of a Mass-Prophylaxis Plan: Best Practices

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gail Farmer, DrPH , Associate Dean of Research, College of Health and Human Services, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Theodora Papachristou, MPH , Department of Health Science, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Helene Calvet, MD , Deputy Health Officer, Orange County Health Care Agency, Santa Ana, CA
Erin Salce, MPH , Senior Research Associate, Center for Health Policy Research, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Ronald R. Arias, MPA , Director, City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, Long Beach, CA
Jenny Sok, BS , Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Background/Purpose: The identification and inclusion of a diverse population's special needs (cultural, language and functional) is vital for successful emergency management. This paper describes the steps in the process of obtaining accurate and current information on issues of accessibility and acceptability of Points of Dispensing (PODs) as perceived by providers of service as well as members of the vulnerable hard-to-reach populations. Methods: Conducted 25 key informant interviews and 8 community focus groups with 10 to 12 participants/group, (African American, Cambodian, Latino, Homeless, developmentally disabled, vision impaired, deaf/hard-of-hearing, mobility impaired). All key informant interviews and focus groups were audio recorded and transcribed. Spanish and Khmer focus groups were transcribed and translated into English. Qualitative analysis focused on extracting common themes and identifying the gaps between perceptions of providers of services and appropriate accommodations for vulnerable populations. Results/Outcomes: (1) Bridge “knowledge gap” between emergency response personnel and members of special needs populations, (2) Utilize special needs populations' strong desire for volunteerism to assist in mass prophylaxis activities, and (3) Address the critical need for transportation. Conclusions: In order to reduce unnecessary morbidity and mortality before, during and after a public health emergency it is essential to integrate the perspectives of special needs populations in the planning and implementation of emergency preparedness.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
1)Describe methods to identify vulnerable populations in a community 2)Identify best practices to include members of special needs populations into emergency preparedness planning 3)Develop Mass-Prophylaxis plans that incorporate accommodations for special needs populations before, during and after a public health emergency

Keywords: Disasters, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of federally, state, county funded grants and contracts focusing on health disparities and access to health services for hard-to-reach populations. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies to include vulnerable populations in planning processes. I am the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Health and Human Services at California State University Long Beach
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.