Dear NACCHO Family:
Our work in public health requires that we place ourselves squarely on the frontlines in keeping our communities healthy and safe. This sometimes means we risk personal safety in service to our mission. This reality came to the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, in a tragic shooting that left 14 people dead and 21 wounded. Among the wounded was one of our colleagues, Amanda Gaspard, an environmental health specialist with San Bernardino County. We wish her all the best for a speedy recovery.
These incidents are happening all too frequently—on average, a shooting occurs every day in the United States. In 209 out of 336 days this year, at least one shooting left four or more people injured or dead, including a shooting that occurred just last week at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood.
In this instance, as our thoughts turn to our friends and colleagues at the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, we want to remind and urge all of our colleagues that we are a resilient community that strongly supports each another, especially in times of crisis. To that end, we want to urge our public health department colleagues to seek out others—especially professionals—to talk to about your fears and concerns. Use NACCHO’s resources, and those of other organizations, including SAMHSA’s national helpline.
As always, NACCHO remains committed to providing resources, training, and guidance to their local health department members to help in their response to this ongoing public health challenge. These include Suspicious Activity Training, Active Shooter and Explosive Device, and Risk Communications. You will find resources on NACCHO’s Preparedness blog here, including Building Workforce Resilience through the Practice of Psychological First Aid and updated resources from Department of Human Services can be found here.
LaMar Hasbrouck, MD, MPH