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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Arizona: Building Block Approach to Developing Emergency Preparedness Trainings

When it comes to preparing for medical countermeasures (MCM) operations during a public health emergency such as a large scale exposure of anthrax, there is no replacement for hands-on, interactive training.  The Mountain West Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (MWPERLC) at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (UA MEZCOPH) confirmed this finding through the implementation of a  practice-centered 2-day workshop on MCM planning and activation.


[Photo: Workshop in Progress]

The workshop “Planning for the Distribution of Medication/Vaccines During a Public Health Emergency” was designed to review the logistics of activating a Point of Dispensing (POD) in the event of an incident requiring mass prophylaxis. The workshop covered challenges and strategies to overcome issues encountered in POD planning and operations, information on legal, cultural, and jurisdictional considerations surround PODs, and setting up and running a POD to distribute medications.


[Photo: Day Two of Workshop]

The workshop was based on the concept of experiential adult learning in which the learner is provided with an environment that transitions from foundational knowledge to skills acquisition through repetitive exposure and application.  Day one of the iterative process allowed the workshop participant to build knowledge on MCM Planning and apply the information learned to develop a Point of Dispensing (POD) strategy addressing a fictitious scenario. On Day two, workshop participants had the opportunity to role play and experience POD operations from both the community member’s and POD staff’s perspective.  This role-playing exercise enabled individuals to have a complete 360° understanding of the range of issues staff and clients experience, further solidifying the understanding and relationship of POD planning elements to POD operations.


[Photo: Workshop Role Playing Exercise]

Below is a summary of key evaluation findings:

Submitted by: Mountain West Preparedness & Emergency Response Learning Center