The Staffing Decision Guide: Providing Direction for Disease Investigation and Mass Prophylaxis Operations

Matt Hoffman and Aron Stephens, Program Specialists, Multnomah County Health Department Advanced Practice Center

The Staffing Decision Guide for Public Health Emergencies Requiring Disease Investigation and Mass Prophylaxis tool was developed by Multnomah County Health Department (OR) to facilitate staffing decisions by a local health department administrator or incident commander during a public health emergency response.

In times of decreasing program funding, it is essential that local health departments (LHDs) be outfitted with the most current and effective preparedness products available. The Staffing Decision Guide for Public Health Emergencies Requiring Disease Investigation and Mass Prophylaxis tool was developed by Multnomah County Health Department (OR) to facilitate staffing decisions by a LHD administrator or incident commander during a public health emergency response.

Picture this scenario:
A rare outbreak of smallpox has surfaced in a small Midwestern town, prompting public health officials scrambling to respond. Within 48 hours, a mass prophylaxis operation must be in operation, and a public health investigation of initial cases is already underway. The affected county has already developed a procedure to set up points of dispensing (POD), but is unsure how to allocate its limited repository of response staff, so maximum efficacy can be achieved. The use of The Staffing Decision Guide for Public Health Emergencies Requiring Disease Investigation and Mass Prophylaxis tool may help leaders make sound staffing decisions, as well as justify the decisions to jurisdictional authority.

This staffing tool is comprised of three distinct worksheets:

  • A flow diagram which represents various activities at different phases of disease investigation and mass prophylaxis operations;
  • A list of questions for decision-makers to consider when collecting information at each decision point; and
  • A worksheet which allows decision-makers to determine response positions and the number of staff needed for each position based on the questions and considerations posed throughout the tool.

While this tool applies to any incident requiring both disease investigation and prophylaxis operations, it is primarily aimed at large-scale emergency operations requiring rapid decision-making to obtain and allocate surge staff resources.

Additionally, field testing suggests that the guide serves as a valuable planning resource when used in advance of an emergency. The tool analyzes complex staffing demands and frames them in a way that will help determine resource needs based on the local situation, operational objectives, plans and partnerships. Additionally, the tool is fully customizable. It is available in both Adobe PDF and MS Word format, and allows users to change information based on the unique needs of a jurisdiction, incident, or planning activity.

The Staffing Decision Guide, along with hundreds of other APC products can be found at the APC website located at apc.naccho.org. For technical assistance using the product, please contact apc@multco.us.

Risk Communication—Getting the Message Across

Stacy DeBruyne, Marketing Coordinator/PIO, Toledo-Lucas County Health Department Advanced Practice Center

Effective risk communication plans can assist public health officials in preventing a potentially damaging public response to emergency situations. Successfully implementing the various parts of your communications plan can ensure a measured response to an emergency situation.

Effective risk communication plans can assist public health officials in preventing a potentially damaging public response to emergency situations. Successfully implementing the various parts of your communications plan can ensure a measured response to an emergency situation.

 In this era of technology, the landscape for effective risk communication is rapidly evolving. The implications for managing key messages and assuring the public’s health and safety, especially during times of crises, can be staggering. It is crucial that these key messages be accurate and released in a timely manner. Fortunately, new and accessible communication platforms such as Twitter, present the possibility to reach more people with more relevant messages than ever before.

Health departments and emergency managers are primarily responsible for the creation and implementation of these messages. Social media can be used as the means to communicate and present this information to the media and general public. To ensure that social media is used effectively, public health officials must craft innovative messages that are easy to customize and implement.

“The Risk Communication in Public Education” toolkit provides pre-scripted templates for press releases, fact sheets, and social media tactics and tools that will increase the value of the message during a crisis. These messages will empower communities to initiate an appropriate communications plan and response before, during, and after an outbreak. This toolkit has been designed to incorporate the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Preparedness Capabilities, specifically Capability 4: Emergency Public Information and Warning. This capability gives the emergency manager the ability to develop, coordinate, and disseminate information, alerts, warnings, and notification to the public and responders.

“The Risk Communication and Public Education” toolkit enables health departments and emergency managers to prepare for, withstand, and recover from a crisis in risk communication. This toolkit is free and can be found at www.apc.naccho.org.

For more information or assistance in using this toolkit, please contact debruyns@co.lucas.oh.us or visit www.lucascountyhealth.com/apc.

The FBI Citizen’s Academy: A Partnership That Strengthens Community Preparedness

Paul A. Biedrzycki, MPH, MBA, City of Milwaukee Health Department, WI

Post 9/11 and through initiatives such as the Criminal-Epidemiological Workshops (www.crim-epi.org), which are co-sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and United States Department of Justice—local public health and law enforcement are now working to establish more close relationships, especially in areas of bioterrorism planning and response.

Prior to 9/11, many local public health officials probably had little, if any routine contact with federal law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). However, post 9/11 and through initiatives such as the Criminal-Epidemiological Workshops (www.crim-epi.org), which are co-sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and United States Department of Justice—local public health and law enforcement are now working to establish more close relationships, especially in areas of bioterrorism planning and response. In addition, many local public health agencies continue to form strong working relationships with FBI designated “WMD Coordinators,” a position found within each of the FBI’s 56 field offices located nationwide.

Another opportunity for public health administrators to gain a better understanding of the FBI in terms of organizational structure, operational programs, and overall mission is participation in the FBI Citizen’s Academy. I was nominated and invited to participate in the 6-week Milwaukee Metropolitan FBI Citizen’s Academy during September 14, 2011–October 19, 2011, and found the experience not only extremely worthwhile and informative, but insightful in terms of the dedication, expertise, and commitment on behalf of both agents and civilians within Agency’s ranks.

The course is comprehensive and covers areas of FBI history, domestic and international terrorism, cyber and white collar crime, criminal forensics, and legal considerations to name a few. There is also a very interactive (but fully voluntary) session involving a half-day at a firing range (small weapons handling and target practice) along with SWAT Team demonstrations and an actual criminal “simulation” scenario. The latter is particularly enthralling and tests participant’s split-second decision-making in the assessment and reaction to a rapidly involving crime scene. All in all, the topics and activities are not only thought provoking but provide a rare glimpse into select FBI internal training, protocols, and operational mechanics necessary to achieve a level of excellence in field performance and outcomes.

My overall impression of this opportunity is positive and I would highly recommend that local public health officials, regardless of their particular topic interest in homeland security or emergency preparedness, seek nomination and application to the program. The Academy class typically includes a diverse group of regional leaders from the private and non-profit business sector as well. The primary purpose of the Academies is to bridge-build between the Agency and the community at-large and to create mutual trust and relationships before an actual event occurs. The academy classes are typically held once each week for a period of 3–4 hours in the evening and hosted by the local FBI Field Office or Resident Agency.

For additional information, click here or contact your local WMD Coordinator for instructions on nomination and application for upcoming classes.

I urge you to consider this unique networking and training opportunity. You won’t be sorry and you, your agency, and community will be all the better prepared for it!

ASPR Issues First Disaster Behavioral Health Concept of Operations

Rachel E. Kaul, LCSW, CTS, Behavioral Health Team Lead, HHS/ASPR and Darrin Donato, Senior Policy Analyst, HHS/ASPR

Every disaster or public health emergency creates different medical needs and health concerns. While these concerns may vary by the type of disaster, all disasters or public health emergencies will result in behavioral health needs.

Every disaster or public health emergency creates different medical needs and health concerns. While these concerns may vary by the type of disaster, all disasters or public health emergencies will result in behavioral health needs. Therefore, anticipating and addressing behavioral health needs as an integral part of overall response and recovery is essential to national health security.

Disaster behavioral health response and recovery is a whole community effort that requires the engagement of an array of stakeholders. In order to ensure that federal efforts are thoughtfully implemented, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) developed the first ever U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Disaster Behavioral Health Concept of Operations.

This new Concept of Operations aims to improve the coordination of federal preparedness, response, and recovery efforts concerning behavioral health. The plan is a result of extensive work with HHS agencies and partners, and presents the overarching conceptual framework that HHS uses to manage federal disaster behavioral health personnel, response and recovery assets, and actions. 

The Concept of Operations also supports National Health Security Strategy goals. It forwards the integration of behavioral health into overall public health and medical preparedness, response, and recovery to address the behavioral health needs of disaster survivors, responders, and at-risk individuals (including children). The Concept of Operations is a living document and will be reviewed and revised annually, as policy and operational approaches are enhanced and best practices are developed or identified.

Specifically, the HHS Disaster Behavioral Health Concept of Operations describes how HHS transitions from normal day-to-day operations to a comprehensive, department-wide response to the behavioral health elements of a public health and medical emergency.  The document explains how ASPR coordinates HHS‐wide response and recovery activities on behalf of the HHS Secretary to support the primary roles of state, local, tribal, and territorial behavioral health stakeholders.

The Concept of Operations explains what state and local behavioral health officials can expect from HHS: better federal coordination, improved access to HHS technical assistance for behavioral health, and specific points of contact to work with throughout a response.

ASPR’s division for At-Risk Individuals, Behavioral Health, and Community Resilience (ABC) has begun reaching out to ASPR and HHS offices, and external stakeholders to discuss the Concept of Operations.

The HHS Disaster Behavioral Health Concept of Operations is available online at www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/abc/Documents/dbh-conops.pdf. 

CDC to Publish Guide: Identifying Vulnerable Older Adults and Legal Preparedness Options for Increasing Their Protection during Public Health Emergencies: A Cross-Sector Guide for States and Communities

Rebecca Polinsky, J.D., Research and Practice Fellow, Public Health Law Program, Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
We cannot always know with certainty which groups of people will be most affected by future public health emergencies; however, events such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, have shown that some characteristics of older adults put them at greater risk of illness and death during many types of emergencies.

We cannot always know with certainty which groups of people will be most affected by future public health emergencies; however, events such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, have shown that some characteristics of older adults put them at greater risk of illness and death during many types of emergencies. For example, older adults may have impaired mobility, diminished sensory awareness, multiple chronic health conditions, and social and economic limitations—all of which can impair their ability to prepare for, respond to, and adapt during emergencies.1

Emergencies can also disrupt the support systems that are relied upon by many older adults. For many, independent living is made possible only with help from friends, family, and in-home services that provide meals, home-based health care, and assistance with chores and personal care needs. In fact, the majority (93%) of Medicare enrollees aged 65 years or older live in the community, rather than in nursing homes or other congregate settings. Nearly one-third of this group live alone.2

In October 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Healthy Aging Program and Public Health Law Program received funding from the CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response to address the pre-event identification of vulnerable older adults during all-hazard emergencies. In 2012, the project will culminate in the release of a resource guide for local, state, territorial, and tribal jurisdictions that presents strategies for identifying and protecting the most vulnerable older adults in a community.

The guide, Identifying Vulnerable Older Adults and Legal Preparedness Options for Increasing Their Protection During Public Health Emergencies: A Cross-Sector Guide for States and Communities, presents a menu of action options to strengthen the protection of this population during all-hazards public health emergencies.
 
The development of the guide was informed by research using public health information sources and legal databases, a workgroup with members drawn from NACCHO and other key stakeholders, and site visits to local jurisdictions to learn what is being done “on the ground” regarding vulnerable older adult preparedness.  To gather information on practice-based examples of local and state initiatives, site visits were conducted in Miami-Dade and Tallahassee, FL; Franklin County, MA; Hawkeye Valley, IA; New Orleans and Baton Rouge, LA; and Honolulu and Hilo, HI.

A Web portal is also in development and will serve as a one-stop source for resources, tools, and information related to all-hazard preparedness for vulnerable older adults.

The multi-sector workgroup of stakeholder subject-matter experts provided comment and feedback on the guide and gave input on the development of the Web portal and related tools. Sectors and organizations represented on the workgroup included:

•    Local, state, and federal public health agencies;
•    Local, state, and federal aging agencies;
•    Elder law organizations;
•    Public health law organizations;
•    Law enforcement agencies;
•    Adult protective services;
•    National Association of City and County Health Organizations;
•    Association of State and Territorial Health Officials;
•    AARP;
•    American Red Cross; and
•    Transportation planning agencies.

The guide and Web portal will be released in March 2012. To find both of these resources, visit www.cdc.gov/aging/emergency.
 
For further information contact:
Maggie Moore, MPH
CDC Healthy Aging Program
mmoore6@cdc.gov
770-488-559

References
   AARP. We Can Do Better: Lessons Learned for Protecting Older Persons in Disasters. Washington, DC: AARP; 2006. http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/il/better.pdf.
   Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics. Older Americans 2010: Key Indicators of Well-Being. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2010. http://www.agingstats.gov/agingstatsdotnet/Main_Site/Data/2010_Documents/Docs/OA_2010.pdf.

 

 


Runner Survives Marathon Collapse, Due to MRC Emergency Response Efforts

MRC "In Touch"

A man is alive, thanks to the response efforts of the Harris County Gateway to Care (TX) Medical Reserve Corps and other emergency officials who quickly came to the aid of a marathon runner who collapsed near the finish line at the Houston Marathon in January.

A man is alive, thanks to the response efforts of the Harris County Gateway to Care (TX) Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and other emergency officials who quickly came to the aid of a marathon runner who collapsed near the finish line at the Houston Marathon in January

MRC volunteers were helping to staff the medical station along the last 500 meters of the race. MRC volunteer Elizabeth Morton, fire captain, and bike EMTs were the first to arrive at the scene of the runner’s collapse. Morton assisted the bike EMTs with resuscitating the man as the fire captain and police secured the area for the ambulance arrival. Due to the collaboration between all responders, the man was stabilized before he arrived at the hospital.

To read the entire article in the February 2012 edition of MRC In Touch, as well as other MRC unit articles, visit www.naccho.org/topics/emergency/MRC/newsletter.cfm

For more information about the MRC, visit www.medicalreservecorps.gov

Local Health Departments Receive PPHR Recognition

Since 2004, a total of 270 local health departments (LHDs) from 26 states have been recognized as meeting the Project Public Health (PPHR) requirements. Representing the largest cohort to date, 76 LHDs from Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Virginia applied for and successfully attained PPHR recognition this year.

Since 2004, a total of 270 local health departments (LHDs) from 26 states have been recognized as meeting the Project Public Health (PPHR) requirements. Representing the largest cohort to date, 76 LHDs from Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Virginia applied for and successfully attained PPHR recognition this year. This group of recently recognized LHDs was honored at the annual PPHR reception, held during the 2012 Preparedness Summit in Anaheim, CA.

PPHR is a competency-based training and recognition program that assesses preparedness and assists local health departments, or groups of local health departments working collaboratively as a region, to respond to emergencies. It builds preparedness capacity and capability through a continuous quality improvement model. The PPHR criteria are national standards for local public health preparedness and are updated annually to incorporate the most recent federal initiatives. Each of the three PPHR project goals—all-hazards preparedness planning, workforce capacity development, and demonstration of readiness through exercises or real events—has a comprehensive list of standards that must be met in order to achieve PPHR recognition.
 
For more information about PPHR, or to view recognized LHDs across the country, please visit http://naccho.org/topics/emergency/PPHR.

Win a NACCHO Annual 2012 Conference Registration from the APC Program

The APC Program wants your feedback!  Post a product review on the APC website, and you will be automatically entered for a chance to win a free registration to the NACCHO Annual 2012 Conference in Los Angeles this July ($800 value).

Have you used an Advanced Practice Center (APC) product, resource or toolkit in support of your public health preparedness efforts? The APC Program wants your feedback!  Post a product review on the APC website, and you will be automatically entered for a chance to win a free registration to the NACCHO Annual 2012 Conference in Los Angeles this July ($800 value). Every product review you post between March 8 and June 1, 2012 will count as a unique entry for a chance to win.

How to enter:

  • Sign in via the link in the upper right corner (or Create an Account – it’s free and NACCHO membership is not required).
  • Click on the “Products” tab.
  • Find a product you’ve used, and click the “Reviews” option on the left side of the page.
  • Post a review describing how you used the resource, what impacts it made, what learning it provided, etc.

The APC Program provides free public health preparedness resources that can be easily implemented by any local health department (LHD), as they are created by LHDs, for LHDs. The products are easily adaptable, and have been tested in real world environments by health departments. APC products are ideal in this time of increasing budget pressures, building capacity while saving LHDs time, resources, and money.

Log on today, review your favorite APC products, and be entered for your chance to win!

Twenty-Three Percent all LHDs Reduced or Eliminated Emergency Preparedness during 2011

A new report based on data from the January 2012 NACCHO Survey of Job Losses and Program Cuts shows that cuts to budgets, staffing, and programs continue to plague many local health departments (LHDs) throughout the nation.

A new report based on data from the January 2012 NACCHO Survey of Job Losses and Program Cuts shows that cuts to budgets, staffing, and programs continue to plague many local health departments (LHDs) throughout the nation. Fifty-seven percent of all LHDs reduced or eliminated at least one program during 2011, and emergency preparedness was among the programs hardest hit, with 23 percent of all LHDs reducing or eliminating services that assure readiness to respond to public health emergencies and other disasters. Findings from this survey are being shared with government agencies, members of Congress, and the press.

More information is available at www.naccho.org/lhdbudget. State-level analysis of budget, staffing, and program cuts data will be available in the coming weeks.

New Interactive Website Available through FEMA’s GPD

This toolbox is a free, online collection of local public health tools produced by members of the public health community, tailored specifically for response to severe winter weather conditions.

FEMA’s Grant Programs Directorate (GPD) announces the inauguration of its new interactive site dedicated to encouraging discussions of the proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 National Preparedness Grant Program (NPGP). Through this website, GPD will be able to engage an ongoing dialogue with the stakeholder community and listen to the thoughts, concerns and ideas of state, territorial, local, and tribal governments, the private sector, non-governmental and faith-based organizations.

View this new interactive website at:
http://fema.ideascale.com/a/ideafactory.do?id=14692&mode=recent&discussionFilter=byids&discussionID=58377.

The APC Program Supports Your PHEP Capability Objectives

Is your health department addressing one or more of the 15 Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) capabilities? The Advanced Practice Centers (APC) Program Website offers new interactive features to help.

Is your health department addressing one or more of the 15 Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) capabilities? The Advanced Practice Centers (APC) Program Website offers new interactive features to help. Visit apc.naccho.org/Products for an interactive list of the 15 PHEP capabilities. Click on a capability, and you will be presented with links to the free APC products supporting the functions within that capability.                            

Need more support? Post a question on the APC Website’s new Community of Practice interactive message boards. An APC product developer will respond with guidance and tips about how APC products can be leveraged to support your PHEP objectives. Additional guidance is available through podcasts and webinars presented by APC developers at http://apc.naccho.org/Pages/multimedia.aspx.

The APC Program provides free public health preparedness resources that can be easily implemented by any local health department (LHD), as they are created by LHDs, for LHDs. The products are easily adaptable, and have been tested in real world environments by health departments. APC products are ideal in this time of increasing budget pressures, building capacity while saving LHDs time, resources, and money.

Watch the Exciting Ignite Session from the 2012 PHP Summit

Too often, valuable lessons and stories in Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) planning and response go uncaptured. The Ignite sharing session allows six different presenters to bring their valuable SNS lesson and tools to light in an environment that promotes creativity and capitalizes on many adult learning techniques for engaging audiences.

Too often, valuable lessons and stories in Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) planning and response go uncaptured. The Ignite sharing session allows six different presenters to bring their valuable SNS lesson and tools to light in an environment that promotes creativity and capitalizes on many adult learning techniques for engaging audiences.

During the 2012 Public Health Preparedness Summit, six SNS planning professionals engaged the audience through an Ignite format of rapid delivery of important SNS promising practices and lessons learned. To watch the video, visit www.naccho.org/topics/emergency/SNS/ignite.cfm.

NACCHO Dark Sites

NACCHO has developed several incident-specific dark sites for local health department staff, emergency managers, and the general public to reference when disaster strikes in their community.

A dark site is a pre-developed website that is activated and used to share vital resources following a crisis or emergency. NACCHO has developed several incident-specific dark sites for local health department staff, emergency managers, and the general public to reference when disaster strikes in their community. NACCHO is proud to provide these resources for a variety of natural and man-made disasters (e.g., bioterrorism, radiological events, earthquakes, floods, and many others).

Most recently, NACCHO activated the "tornado" dark site to share critical tornado recovery and response resources to communities in Nebraska and Michigan that were hit by these natural disasters. NACCHO will continue to activate and publicize its dark sites to provide key resources to those in need following any all-hazards event.

To visit the tornado dark site, visit www.naccho.org/topics/emergency/darksite/tornado.cfm.

Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders

Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) is a system designed for first responders in hazardous material incidents.

Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) is a system designed for first responders in hazardous material incidents. WISER provides information about hazardous substances such as human health information, physical characteristics, substance identification support, and containment and suppression advice.

It is available for download Blackberry devices, Android devices, and others.

For more information, visit http://wiser.nlm.nih.gov/. 

NACCHO's Podcast with HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dr. Nicole Lurie

In NACCHO's latest podcast, Ian Goldstein interviews Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Nicole Lurie.

In NACCHO's latest podcast, Ian Goldstein interviews Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Nicole Lurie.

To listen to the podcast, visit www.naccho.org/customcf/mp3_download.cfm?dir=/upload/&file=Dr-Nicole-Lurie-Podcast-2.mp3.

 

Attend the 2012 Integrated Training Summit

The 2012 Integrated Medical, Public Health, Preparedness and Response Training Summit is sponsored by the U.S. Department of  Health and Human Services (HHS).

The 2012 Integrated Medical, Public Health, Preparedness and Response Training Summit is sponsored by the U.S. Department of  Health and Human Services (HHS). This training summit brings together HHS partners including the National Disaster Medical System  (NDMS), the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP), and the United States Public Health Service (USPHS). The Integrated Training Summit is co-sponsored by the Chesapeake Health Education  Program, Inc (CHEP).

This forum permits coordination, collaboration and interaction  amongst the target audience—the leaders and members of these  preparedness and response partner organizations. The Integrated Training Summit will enhance the knowledge, skills and abilities of  participants, which in turn will improve their capability to deliver public health and medical care services during disasters of any  origin. Expert faculty will present on key focus areas; Healthcare Systems, Leadership, Public Health, Resource Management &  Patient Movement, and Response Integration/Operational Medicine. Networking with these expert faculty members and fellow  participants, many of whom are the nation’s leaders in the area of public health emergencies, will provide insight into the latest  information available in the area of emergency response and coordination.

For more information and to register, click here.

APC Presents Webinar, “Tools for Community Practice”

The Montgomery County, Maryland APC webinar will focus on PHEP Capability #1, Community Preparedness, and some of the APC products and strategies local health departments can use to address specific measures under PHEP Capability #1.

The Advanced Practice Centers (APCs) bring cutting edge technical assistance to public health practitioners working to comply with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness Capabilities (PHEP). The Montgomery County, Maryland APC webinar will focus on PHEP Capability #1, Community Preparedness, and some of the APC products and strategies local health departments can use to address specific measures under PHEP Capability #1.

Who should attend: Emergency preparedness coordinators, planners, and those with an interest in learning about the PHEP capabilities.

When: March 21, 2012 during noon–1:30 PM

How to register: Visit http://readytalk.com/i/pevdbvm888ym

A National Health Security Card—The Time is Now!

Registration is now open for the conference, A National Health Security Card–The Time is Now! The conference will be held during April 24– 26, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas.

Registration is now open for the conference, A National Health Security Card–The Time is Now! The conference will be held during April 24– 26, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. This conference, supported by the Southwestern Texas Regional Advisory Council, will announce the findings of a three-year program led by a research team from the American Medical Association and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The primary objective of this conference is to demonstrate the relevance and value of a secure personal health information system for use in disasters and other day-to-day medical emergencies. Through discussions with senior health officials and policymakers in the public and private sectors from across the US and a simulation demonstration of the “smart” card technology, the conference will explore how this prototype technology can be the following:
  • An effective public health tool for disaster and emergency situations;
  • A secure patient and provider identification card;
  • An effective e-health tool to connect consumers, responders and providers through integration across electronic medical record systems; and
  • A platform to integrate emergency response and everyday healthcare systems.

Visit www.ama-assn.org/go/hscconference for up-to-date information about the conference and to register. Early registration at a discounted rate will close on March 30, 2012. Space is limited, so please register early! For any other inquires about the conference, please contact Bidisha Sinha, MPH at bidisha.sinha@ama-assn.org.

2012 USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium of the Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service

The School of Public Health at the University of Maryland is pleased to co-sponsor the 2012 USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium of the Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service.

The School of Public Health at the University of Maryland is pleased to co-sponsor the 2012 USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium of the Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service. This is the first time that the Symposium will be co-sponsored by an academic partner and the first time  it will be held on a campus.  Pre-conferences will occur during June 18–19, 2012 with the full conference occurring during June 19–June 21, 2012.

The theme is Prevention Strategies for a Healthy Nation: Building on the Basics of Public Health. The symposium is open to civilians and public health professionals, and promises to be an exciting opportunity to interact with a diverse set of professionals with a shared aim of improving the public’s health.

To register for the conference, visit www.phscofevents.org/registration.cfm. Early bird registration ends on April 17.

This publication was supported by Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number H75TP000309-02 and 5 U38 HM000449-04 from CDC. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

This publication was supported by Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number H75TP000309-02 and 5 U38 HM000449-04 from CDC. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.