Online Program

Restructuring regional preparedness: Are new teams providing more services to local health departments?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jennifer A. Horney, PhD, MPH, CPH, North Carolina Institute for Public Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Milissa Markiewicz, MPH, MIA, Network for Public Health Law - Southeastern Region, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Matthew C. Simon, MA, North Carolina Institute for Public Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Catherine Donovan, MS, Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
In 2001, North Carolina established 7 regional teams to build and support local capacity to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from public health events. Teams provided services to a designated regional group of local health departments (LHDs) ranging in number from 7 – 17, with an average of 12 counties. Based on funding reductions and evaluation data, the regional teams were restructured in 2011. There are now 4 teams providing services to LHDs (Range: 11-33; Mean: 25). Each team has a standard composition and members are now state employees reporting directly to the NC Division of Public Health.

In 2009, the North Carolina Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (NC PERRC) at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health administered a web-based survey to preparedness coordinators based at LHDs across North Carolina. The survey gathered data on the range and frequency of support regional teams provided, as well as variations among services provided by different teams.

In 2013, NC PERRC re-assessed the new regional teams using the same assessment instrument. We will present data on differences in the amount and quality of services provided by the new teams in 7 categories, including communication and liaison support, exercises, epidemiology and surveillance, planning, consultation and technical assistance, training, and public health event response. In addition, we will report on any significant variation by region in both the quantity and quality of services reported by LHDs.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe services provided to local health departments by regional public health preparedness teams in North Carolina. Compare services provided by newly restructured regional preparedness teams to services provides by previous teams. Identify variation among teams by region.

Keyword(s): Public Health Infrastructure, Service Delivery

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Matthew Simon, MA, GISP is a Research Associate and GIS Analyst in the research and evaluation unit at the North Carolina Institute for Public Health at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. He is responsible for providing technical assistance and guidance to state and local public health agencies with data collection and spatial analysis projects related to emergency preparedness and other community-wide or regional public health concerns.
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.