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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Harvard Facilitates Knowledge Synthesis and Dissemination in Preparedness

The Emergency Preparedness Research, Evaluation, and Practice (EPREP) program at the Harvard Chan School was honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the project entitled “Translation, Dissemination and Implementation of Public Health Preparedness and Response Research,” sponsored by ASPPH, in order to understand the current state of Public Health Emergency Preparedness research, identify existing research gaps and disseminate knowledge and tools generated and validated through research.

In order to understand how the field of preparedness research has evolved during the past 15 years, the EPREP team has conducted a literature review of research published in the field of emergency preparedness and response in the United States between 2009 – 2016, focusing on the research priority areas identified by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2008: 1) enhancing the usefulness of training, 2) improving timely emergency communications, 3) creating and maintaining sustainable response systems, and 4) generating effectiveness criteria and metrics and engaged practitioners in identifying remaining gaps.

The results of the knowledge synthesis are included in two articles published in September by the American Journal of Public Health : 1. “Public Health System Research in Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) in the U.S.A (2009-2015): Actionable Knowledge Base” and 2. “A Conceptual Framework for the Evaluation of Emergency Risk Communications.” Results were presented to practitioners to discuss remaining gaps. (See photo above.)

In addition to the knowledge synthesis described above, the EPREP team has also created an inventory of emergency preparedness tools generated and validated through research and implementation in collaboration with practitioners by the network of Preparedness & Emergency Response Research Centers (PERRCs). This inventory has already proven to be extremely popular,  and is freely available on the Harvard Chan website.