Public Health Practices

Children look at uprooted tree

Disaster training program for teens combats behavioral health effects of 2011 Minneapolis tornado

A youth training and resilience program helped families recover after the 2011 Minneapolis tornado.

Framework provides strategies for addressing resource scarcity in hospitals and clinics during a regional response

Minnesota developed color-coded recommendations for hospitals that need to manage resources like oxygen, intravenous equipment, and nutrition during emergencies.

Clearinghouse provides easy-to-use preparedness resources for families and responders assisting children with ASD

A Minnesota council created guidance and an app disaster responders can use to communicate with children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Influenza education program increases surveillance capacity among rural, limited-English-speaking agricultural communities

A Minnesota center created a train-the-trainer influenza surveillance program for agricultural workers.

Dirty bomb/radiological contamination interactive training

An online course uses a first-person, gaming format to train responders in radiological decontamination, mass fatalities management, and establishment of a community assistance center.

New approach to translation helps Minnesota respond to H1N1

The Minnesota Department of Health worked with community groups to develop a tool that assessed language translation needs during an emergency.

Medical Reserve Corps logo

Medical Reserve Corps assists with vaccination clinics

The University of Minnesota created a process for requesting and deploying Medical Reserve Corps members to staff mass vaccination clinics during H1N1.

Health Department Operations Center

Per the National Incident Management System (NIMS), Department Operations Centers (DOC) are established and activated by individual departments to coordinate and control actions specific to that department during an emergency event. A DOC is a physical facility or location similar to the campus Emergency Operations Center (EOC). However, the purpose of a DOC is to manage and coordinate events specific to that department.

Online Scheduling System for Vaccinations

After several walk-in clinics took place at the University of Minnesota, planners identified a need to regulate client flow and reduce wait times. Planners responded by quickly shifting to an online block scheduling system. The system allowed clients to register for a 15-minute block of time to receive a vaccination; within each time block, clients were vaccinated on a first-come, first-served basis. The system worked well.

Student Health Advocates Also Address H1N1

A Health Advocate is a student appointed as a health resource in his or her residence hall or apartment community, fraternity, or sorority. Health Advocates attend weekly classes at the student health service, where they are specially trained to respond to common health-related issues. They share information and prevention strategies with other students in their hall or house and also refer students to other health resources on campus.

Workforce Absenteeism Exercise

This simple activity was completed as part of a pandemic influenza response tabletop exercise in March 2009. The activity was designed to illustrate how a pandemic could affect members of the Pandemic Influenza Response Team and to creatively build support for the need to identify three back-up employees for each response position.

Pandemic Influenza Response Team

The University of Minnesota Pandemic Influenza Response Plan is an annex to the broader campus emergency operations plan. The plan outlines specific response actions in 12 areas:

  • Officer of the Day (campus level official in charge)
  • Internal/External Coordination-Academic Health Center
  • Internal/External Coordination-Emergency Management
  • Communications
  • Campus Infrastructure
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Housing

Open Letter to Athletic Directors and Coaches

During H1N1 response, the Minnesota Department of Health convened periodic conference calls with all higher education institutions in Minnesota. This was the first time that direct communication has been organized between the state health department and higher education. During the calls, the Minnesota State Epidemiologist provided H1N1 updates, answered questions, and requested reports from institutions on status and challenges.

Facemask and N95 Respirator Recommendations

This recommendations document was developed to provide education and guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for H1N1 pandemic influenza in the face of confusing, and sometimes conflicting, guidance from federal agencies.

State of Emergency Policy

The University of Minnesota developed a policy that outlines how the president or designee, in accordance with the University Emergency Operations Plan, may determine circumstances that would necessitate the declaration of a University State of Emergency, or change in standard operations, either to limit exposure through "social distancing," or as a result of extremely high rates of absenteeism, related to pandemic influenza.

Collaborative planning leads to successful vaccination clinic

The Greater Mankato Area Vaccination Planning Group helped run H1N1 vaccination clinics by ensuring safety measures, communicating extensive schedules, and making clinics convenient and child-friendly.

Tribal emergency response committee lays important groundwork for response

A tribal decision-making committee used a streamlined process to determine allocation of H1N1 vaccine on the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe reservation.

H1N1 vaccine allocation ethics process

A Minnesota county formed an ethics committee to decide how to allocate small numbers of injectable H1N1 vaccine.

Preparedness exercises allow county to open H1N1 mass vaccination sites

Thanks to the experience gained from previous exercises, a rural Minnesota county was able to quickly open three mass vaccination clinics in October 2009.

Healthcare facility inventory of respiratory protection equipment

During the H1N1 pandemic, the Minnesota Department of Health created an assessment tool to help hospitals conserve a short supply of respirators for high-risk procedures, if necessary.


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