Public Health Practices

Tribal, state, and local agencies define responsibilities for health emergencies on tribal land

A tribe and state health department worked together to determine how to clarify roles and share resources during a cross-jurisdictional emergency.

Multi-format communications program readies Spanish-speakers for emergencies

The Immigrant Emergency Communications Program uses community health workers and translated materials to promote awareness of carbon monoxide dangers during ice storms/power outages and other emergencies.

Hospital-based public health epidemiologist program for biosurveillance

North Carolina placed epidemiologists in 10 large healthcare systems to increase surveillance for biological threats.

Hospital-Based Epidemiologist Program Aids H1N1 Response

North Carolina's hospital-based Public Health Epidemiologist (PHE) Program significantly aided the state H1N1 response and is credited with improving public health infrastructure and shortening emergency response time.

Using the Immunization Registry to Track H1N1 Vaccinations

Approximately 30 to 40% of North Carolina providers (private and public) use the North Carolina Immunization Registry to electronically report H1N1 vaccine doses administered. The immunization registry is a secure, web-based clinical tool that serves as the state's key method of collecting information about vaccinations. While the state did not require the use of the Registry for H1N1 doses administered, many providers still chose to enter into the system.

Movie theater sign

Movie theaters helped spread public health messages (AZ, CA, NC, PA, VA)

Five states worked with movie theaters to distribute H1N1 awareness messages before the film.

Using the NC Laboratory Response Forum and Micronet to communicate and plan H1N1 response

North Carolina adapted a listserv to strengthen laboratories' diagnostic capabilities and make quick changes to policy based on emerging needs.

Videoconferencing Technology to Disseminate Timely Messages

The H1N1 pandemic created a tremendous need to pass critical and timely information throughout the public health system and to partner with response agencies and entities. To accomplish this goal, NC Division of Public Health used a video-conferencing system that allowed for studio-quality video conferencing with call-in and e-mail question capacity, remote presentations, and the ability to project slides with written information and graphics

Adapting Processes for Contracting and Response Spending via Training

During the first wave of H1N1, North Carolina identified and adapted contracting processes to facilitate more efficient and expedient response to the pandemic. Bureaucratic processes for contracting and response spending are often cited as a key barrier to using grant funding: many state Public Health fiscal systems and human resource systems cannot process funds and personnel changes with the adeptness needed for rapid response.

Special Needs Task Force and Registry

New Hanover County, North Carolina, built and maintained a voluntary special needs emergency registry through their Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). The registry was initiated in 1997 and housed under the Department of Emergency Management until 2003, when grant funds became available to support maintenance of a registry by RSVP.

Gripe Pandemica Fotonovela

A fotonovela developed by North Carolina Division of Public Health teaches Spanish-reading individuals about pandemic influenza (gripe pandemica). A fotonovela is a comic-style novel that uses photos instead of illustrations, and the Gripe Pandemica Fotonovela tells a brief story about personal preparedness in Spanish. The story and pictures feature a boy who is telling his parents about the pandemic flu preparedness information he has learned in school.

Stockpiling Solutions: North Carolina's Ethical Guidelines for an Influenza Pandemic

Stockpiling Solutions represents a thoughtful collaboration between public health and medicine around ethics of care during an influenza pandemic. The task force carefully and thoroughly addressed three significant ethical issues, including: 1) the responsibility of healthcare workers to provide care and to be protected while working; 2) the balance of individual rights and community needs; and 3) the prioritization of limited resources.

Pandemic Influenza Disparities Prevention Initiative

The Disparities Prevention Initiative represents a thoughtful, deliberate approach to anticipating and minimizing racial and ethnic disparities that may occur as the result of a pandemic. The practice aimed to develop effective outreach to three main racial and ethnic minority groups in North Carolina: African Americans, Latinos, and American Indians.

DHHS Family Disaster Plan

An all-hazards guide is designed to serve as a basis for a general family disaster plan. While it does not provide specific information on pandemic influenza, it offers a thorough approach to basic planning for emergencies. The guide provides a template in which household members can record vital information, such as prescription medication needs, allergies, and special functional needs.

Pandemic Flu and You education packet

The Pandemic Flu and You education packet includes basic, colorfully branded information on personal and school preparedness for pandemic influenza. The documents were distributed to the public through several government programs, including Medicaid, the Division of Motor Vehicles, and Children's Health Insurance Program. The primer and brochure are good examples of basic educational resources, and the disaster plan can be coupled with the first aid kit to guide preparedness activities.

Be Ready! Kiosks

Be Ready! kiosks are portable computers designed to increase public interaction with preparedness information through touch-screen technology. This practice is noteworthy, because it incorporates a hands-on learning component to preparedness education that can help in reaching people who learn best by doing and stimulate ongoing preparedness activities at home. The kiosks could be used in a variety of settings, including health fairs, county/state fairs, conferences, or clinics.

ICCE Net: intrastate crisis communication enhancement network

The ICCE Net preparedness program creates a technical, administrative, and training infrastructure to harmonize risk communications between various levels of government. It also provides a strong basis from which accurate and consistent information could be distributed to the public.

Good Samaritan legislation

The Good Samaritan legislation proposal aims to provide statutory protections for businesses and non-profit organizations that assist in governmental response efforts following a disaster. Examples of these protections may include reducing the liability of businesses that assist with stockpile distribution or churches that function as clinics or shelters.

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