142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Taking real public health tools to real public health professionals: Blending research and practice

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014

Elizabeth Bjerke, JD , Department of Health Policy and Managment, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
The public health system (PHS) is an interdependent network of public and private institutions.  Many functions pertaining to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery are directed by law.  Pitt Public Health legal researchers and social network professionals analyzed over 6,500 relevant state and federal laws.  The purpose of the project was to develop research finding and then translate them in a way useful to public health practitioners.  We created two interconnected tools to facilitate the practical use of gathered information:  The Public Health Adaptive Systems Studies Database (PHASYS Database), a searchable database of laws pertaining to emergencies with public health implications; and, the LEgal Network Analyzer (LENA), an interactive network visualization of PHS relationships in a single discrete state or the federal government, between two states, or between one state and the federal government.  Pitt Public Health conducted site visits at 6 local health departments and engaged over 80 practice partners nationwide to test the utility of the tools.  Additionally, a virtual site visit with state health department practitioners was conducted via webinar.  Practitioners identified a wide variety of important public health issues, such as which PHS agents are responsible for responding during nuclear/radiologic disasters, the role governmental public health plays in planning for mass casualty events, and the best practices for information sharing between PHS agents.   These interactions allowed Pitt Public Health explore the utility and application of its research, address real life questions, assist in community readiness, elicit feedback concerning “end user friendliness,” and engage practitioners in tool refinement.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify issues with public health emergency implications that are important to public health professionals Demonstrate the real-world utility of innovative tools developed to address such issues Assess the application of innovative tools by eliciting feedback from public health professionals

Keyword(s): Disasters, Practice-Based Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: For the past 6 years, I have been the co-principal investigator of a grant funded by the CDC examining over 6,500 laws with public health emergency implications in 12 states and the federal government. I have been a member of a team that created innovative legal tools to help public health professionals prepare to and respond from disasters. I have verified the utility of the tools during 6 nationwide focus groups.
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.