Public Health Practices

Costs to develop and maintain a state biosurveillance system: The New York example

New York developed a case study out of their efforts to build a single surveillance system for clinical and public health laboratories.

Improving biosurveillance after natural disasters: The Superstorm Sandy experience

After Superstorm Sandy made landfall in 2012, New York City used its surveillance system to monitor hospital evacuation and emerging health needs.

Exercise prepares public health and partners to respond to a radiological emergency

More than 30 agencies tested strategies to respond to two "dirty bombs" in Albany, New York, during the Empire 09 exercise.

Situational awareness dashboard consolidates H1N1 vaccine information

New York developed an online dashboard where healthcare systems could find information about H1N1 vaccine supply and ask questions in a secure environment.

Weekly Reports Provide User-Friendly H1N1 Information to the Public

During Spring 2009, preparedness staff at the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) received many questions about H1N1 from the public and media. Advances in knowledge about H1N1 and a deeper understanding of what people wanted to know about the virus contributed to NYSDOH's communication strategies for Fall 2009.

H1N1 Vaccination Media Campaign Launched

The Jefferson County Public Health Service (JCPHS) in New York State credits a broad-based media campaign with increasing vaccine uptake. Public Information Officer (PIO), Faith Lustik, who spearheaded the campaign, was assisted by a team of experienced health promotion staff members. The staff, all of whom have training in social marketing, established strong contacts with local media, as well as varied community partners.

Respiratory Protection Training for School Health Personnel

CDC's October 14, 2009,"Guidance on Infection Control Measures for 2009 H1N1 Influenza in Healthcare Settings, including Protection of Healthcare Personnel" determined that school health personnel need to use respiratory protection and comply with the OSHA respiratory protection standards when the hierarchy of controls cannot prevent employee exposure to a patient with influenza-like illness (ILI).

Respiratory protection training for long-term care homes

New York developed tools to help long-term care facilities comply with respiratory protection standards around training, evaluation, and fit-testing.

Efforts to Provide H1N1 Outreach and Situational Awareness

Planning and response activities related to H1N1 must be cognizant of and reflect stakeholder needs and expectations. Collaboration is essential as many different stakeholders have important roles to play in making decisions, implementing strategies, and ensuring their effectiveness. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) recognizes that collaboration is critical and must be coordinated at the state level. Thus, the following activities were orchestrated by NYSDOH:

Pandemic Influenza Surge Plan to Manage In-Hospital Deaths

New York City's mass fatality guidance comprises two parts: (1) a training course for health professionals who will be involved in fatality management, and (2) a planning tool. The course describes strategies, roles, and responsibilities that will be assumed by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner and health care facilities.

Emergency preparedness toolkit for community health centers and community practice sites

Columbia University's Emergency Preparedness Toolkit provides streamlined information, tools, and templates to encourage continuity of operations planning for community health centers.

Disaster Preparedness and the Deaf Community

The "Disaster Preparedness and the Deaf Community" guidebook was written by a group of deaf/hard-of-hearing American Red Cross volunteers who had received Community Emergency Response Training (CERT). Its purpose is to encourage and assist deaf/hard-of-hearing community members to prepare for all types of disasters.

Public Health Emergency Exercise Toolkit

The Public Health Emergency Exercise Toolkit was developed by the Columbia University School of Nursing to guide local public health agency staff in conducting emergency drills and exercises. The overarching goals of the toolkit are to aid local public health planners in 1) developing, implementing, and evaluating emergency drills and exercises, and 2) facilitating the public health aspects of larger, multiagency emergency exercises.

Rapid patient discharge tool

Adaptable plans based on promising bed surge capacity practices help hospital administrators address unexpected increases in patient volume during an emergency.

Pandemic Bioethics Backgrounder

In September 2006, The Providence Center for Health Care Ethics and The Hastings Center convened a meeting of public health officials, experts on public health and clinical ethics, and clinicians. The group discussed the challenges of building pandemic plans on an ethically sound framework, and subsequently developed a backgrounder to highlight ethical issues and suggestions.

City Health Information Avian and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness for Primary Care Providers

The City Health Information document was developed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as a primer for primary care physicians. It provides information on several key issues: 1) Screening and isolation protocols for contagious diseases (including H5N1 influenza); 2) Detection and reporting of suspect H5N1 cases; 3) Infection control precautions; 4) Surge capacity planning; and 5) Contingency planning for employee health.

Pandemic Action Kit for Schools -- New York

The Pandemic Action Kit for Schools offers templates and tools that incorporate the CDC's interim guidance on community disease mitigation, which calls for a maximum 12-week closure of schools. The toolkit describes important step-by-step actions schools should take before, during, and after an influenza pandemic.

Monroe County pandemic messaging

Monroe County, New York, has crafted a series of pre-pandemic messages aimed at encouraging people to understand the implications of a pandemic and become personally prepared. The county leveraged its resources by using many New York State materials, and their pandemic influenza web site is anchored by an excellent video made by the state to communicate and encourage personal preparedness.

New York City Ventilator Capacity Project

The Ventilator Capacity Project surveyed New York City hospitals in order to ascertain several key elements of surge capacity. The survey determined 1) an accurate number of ventilators in city hospitals; 2) health care workers' familiarity with portable ventilators that are part of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS); 3) hospitals' willingness to use externally purchased ventilators; and 4) hospitals' reliance on oxygen vendors.

Ventilator Allocation Project

A pandemic workgroup convened by the New York State Department of Health and The Taskforce on Life and the Law created a guidance on ventilator allocation in hospitals. The workgroup reviewed several published allocation methods and explained their rationale for using a hybrid approach based on an ethically and clinically sound decision-making system.

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