The 2016 Preparedness Summit, Planning Today for Rebuilding Tomorrow: Resiliency and Recovery in the 21st Century, took place Tuesday, April 19 – Friday, April 22 in Dallas, Texas. This year’s Summit was hosted by NACCHO and sponsored by several partner organizations, including ASPPH. The event brought together over 1600 emergency preparedness 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 public health emergencies.
Presentations highlighting the work conducted by ASPPH-members were featured at the Summit, including a demonstration session on a data collection tool and a session that detailed the findings from a multi-state needs assessment on disaster behavioral health capacity. In addition, ASPPH hosted a town hall titled Academia and Governmental Public Health Working Together to Strengthen Community Resiliency and Recovery on Wednesday, April 20. The town hall showcased resources developed by Council on Education for Public Health accredited schools and programs of public health in collaboration with governmental public health agencies that support the public health workforce in preparing its community to recover from a global health threat and person-made or natural disaster. Panelists included Dr. David Eisenman (UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health) and local governmental public health partner, Ms. Aizita Magana (Los Angeles County Department of Public Health); and Dr. Barbara Quiram (Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health) and local governmental public health partner, Ms. Lisette Osborne (Texas Department of State Health Services). The session was moderated by Mr. Patrick Gardner (University of South Florida College of Public Health).
Throughout the week, Summit attendees participated in several interesting and timely plenary sessions. The opening plenary on Tuesday, Innovations in Community Resilience, featured speakers who presented on a unique collaboration between the Rockefeller Foundation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development created to build a vision for resilient communities. On Wednesday morning, several highly distinguished experts on disaster risk reduction participated in a plenary session titled Making Smart Choices: Disaster Risk Reduction and Home and Abroad. Panelists highlighted ways in which domestic organizations can collaborate with public and private sectors to ensure their preparedness efforts correspond with Disaster Risk Reduction principles. The 2016 Summit concluded on Friday with a session titled Planning for the Marathon, Not the Sprint: Building Disaster Mental Health Recovery into Preparedness Planning. Behavioral health experts discussed the importance of including mental health recovery initiatives in preparedness plans and spoke about their experiences in responding to several recent public health emergencies. For more information about the Summit, visit http://preparednesssummit.org/
Prior to the start of the Preparedness Summit, ASPPH, in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (CDC OPHPR), held an in-person meeting for the grantees of a CDC-funded preparedness project titled Translation, Dissemination, and Implementation of Public Health Preparedness and Response Research and Training. The purpose of the project is to improve public health preparedness and response practices, policies, and programs through the translation, application, and evaluation of research products and trainings developed by previously CDC-funded Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Centers (PERRC) and Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers (PERLC). As the Coordinating Center for the project, ASPPH convened representatives from each of the nine sub-projects for the one-day meeting on April 18 in Dallas to present project updates, network with colleagues, meet with CDC OPHPR technical officers, and to discuss collaboration and communication activities.