Online Program

Using Incident Commend System (ICS) to plan community health assessment forums: Riverside County, CA

Monday, November 2, 2015

Kevin Meconis, MPH, Epidemiology and Program Evaluation, Riverside County Department of Public Health, Riverside, CA
Anne Accurso, Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Branch, Riverside County Department of Public Health, Riverside, CA
Wendy Hetherington, MPH, Epidemiology and Program Evaluation, Riverside University Health System - Public Health, Riverside, CA
Susan Harrington, MS, RD, Department of Public Health, County of Riverside, Riverside, CA
Michael Osur, MBA, Riverside County Department of Public Health, Riverside, CA
Riverside County, California is home to 2.2 million residents and one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. It is geographically large, spanning more than 7,200 square miles with many distinct cultural and geographic communities. In pursuit of accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), the Riverside County Department of Public Health (DOPH) embarked on an ambitious goal to conduct multiple community forums and meetings throughout the County to collect information on health needs from as many representative populations.

In order to facilitate efficient planning and productive meetings, the DOPH Accreditation Steering Committee decided to use Incident Command System (ICS). ICS is a systematic tool designed for the command, control and coordination of emergency response and DOPH has successfully used it to coordinate response and recovery efforts to public health emergencies. An ICS subject-matter expert from the DOPH Public Health Emergency and Response branch was appointed as incident commander. She coordinated weekly section chief meetings and briefed the Accreditation Steering Committee on developments.

DOPH staff were assigned section chief (Finance, Operations, Logistics, Planning), Liaison and Public Information roles based on their day-to-day functions. The Logistics and Planning Sections were further divided into units to assign staff to coordinate community meeting and staff schedules, presentation design, outreach plan and more. In addition to the successful coordination of more than 30 community forums throughout Riverside County, using ICS gave DOPH staff an opportunity to practice emergency response roles and helped DOPH fulfill PHAB accreditation prerequisite and domain requirements.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Program planning
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
Describe the Incident Command System (ICS) and its functional use in non-emergency public health planning. Explain how ICS can be expanded or collapsed to fit the needs of the event. Discuss lessons learned by Riverside County DOPH in planning and conducting over 30 community forums to identify the health needs of its diverse population.

Keyword(s): Accreditation, Community Health Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PHAB accreditation coordinator for Riverside County Department of Public Health and was responsible for the coordination of all accreditation activities.
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.