Public Health Practices

Reaching Out: An Evolving Communications Strategy

The emergence of H1N1 flu in the spring of 2009 posed unique communications challenges for state and local health departments nationwide. Media focused attention on the potential health threats of a new pandemic flu virus. Public concern escalated quickly, and in Rhode Island, local healthcare providers, community organizations, and businesses looked to the state Department of Health for guidance.

Tracking H1N1 trends through electronic prescription records

Rhode Island used surveillance of electronic antiviral prescription records to monitor H1N1 spread and potential outbreaks.

H1N1 vaccine clinics for medically fragile children

The Rhode Island State Department of Health held H1N1 vaccination clinics in schools for children with neurologic illnesses and chronic medical conditions.

Training for community agencies to plan for H1N1 and people with special needs

The Rhode Island Department of Health held a three-day training for community agencies serving people with functional needs during an emergency.

People at a vaccine clinic

Municipal MEDS PODs free vaccination clinics

Rhode Island developed tools for opening free municipal vaccination clinics.

College and University Vaccination Campaign

Rhode Island is holding a statewide H1N1 vaccination campaign to reach college and university students over a three-week period, which started the week of November 30. In August, RI DOH had initial planning meetings with all colleges and universities in the state, but had to postpone implementation of the plans when the H1N1 vaccine was delayed.

School-based H1N1 vaccination clinics at each K-12 school

The Rhode Island Department of Health created parent and staff information that allowed for streamlined H1N1 vaccination clinics at every K-12 school.

H1N1 materials cover basic information, special groups, and school vaccination clinics

Educational resources, many of them tailored for school and parent use, are available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Hmong, Khmer, Lao, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese.

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