The 2014 Public Health Preparedness Summit, “Stronger Together: Aligning Public Health and Healthcare Preparedness Capabilities to Protect Our Communities,” took place Tuesday, April 1 – Friday, April 4 in Atlanta. This year’s Summit was hosted by NACCHO and sponsored by several partner organizations, including ASPPH. The event brought together over 1600 public health professionals to hear latest research findings and to learn about practical tools to enhance capabilities to plan and prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and other public health emergencies.
Presentations by faculty of ASPPH-member schools of public health from the CDC-funded Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers (PERLC) and Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Centers (PERRC) were featured throughout the Summit. PERLC and PERRC sessions focused on several preparedness-related themes, including public health preparedness for at-risk populations, the use of social media and communications in preparedness planning and during emergencies, and collaborations between academia and public health preparedness practitioners. ASPPH and CDC also presented a poster highlighting the Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response Core Competency Model and accompanying Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes statements that are available to enhance preparedness training and curricula. The model and accompanying Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes statements are available on the ASPPH website.
In addition, ASPPH hosted a partner town hall on the topic of the translation of research to practice. The session featured panelists from both the PERLC and PERRC programs, including Dr. Edward Baker of the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health PERRC and Dr. David Abramson of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health PERLC. A community partner of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health U-SEEE PERRC, Ms. Mickey Scullard, and a community partner of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health PERLC, Ms. Barbara Ilardi, also participated. The session was moderated by Dr. David Dyjack of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
Throughout the week, Summit attendees participated in several interesting and timely plenary sessions. The opening plenary on Tuesday, “Preparing Our Nation’s Healthcare System for Catastrophic Disaster: Looking at the Past to Improve the Future,” featured a presentation and panel discussion. The keynote speaker Sheri Fink, discussed her book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm Ravaged Hospital, and shared observations from her role as an investigative journalist covering several disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. Following her presentation, she was joined by several high level preparedness officials to discuss the progress made since Hurricane Katrina and to answer questions from the audience.
The general plenary session held on Wednesday was entitled “Capabilities Alignment and Beyond: Accomplishments, Challenges and Plans for Building a Prepared Nation through the PHEP, HPP and DHS Grant Programs.” Panelists discussed the progress on aligning capabilities between two high level reports, “Public Health Preparedness Capabilities: National Standards for State and Local Planning” and “The Healthcare Preparedness Capabilities: National Guidance for Healthcare System Preparedness.”
The 2014 Summit concluded on Friday with a closing session entitled “The Long Road to Recovery: Rebuilding a Community after Disaster.” Panelists discussed recovery challenges faced after several high profile disasters, such as the Oklahoma City bombing, the Boston Marathon bombing, and Hurricane Sandy.
For more information about the Summit, click here.