Category Archives: preparedness

Understanding the Changing Public Health Landscape: Findings from the 2017 Forces of Change Survey

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has released its 2017 Forces of Change report, The Changing Public Health Landscape, containing new findings on the forces that are affecting the nation’s local health departments (LHDs). LHDs face both challenges and opportunities as the public health environment evolves, and the Forces of Change survey helps to identify infrastructure gaps, as well as strategies for strengthening public health capacity. Continue reading

National Preparedness Month: We Have the Power to Prepare

By Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, NACCHO President and Executive Director of Harris County Public Health

This September marks the fourteenth annual National Preparedness Month, created to raise public awareness about the importance of preparedness and encourage Americans to plan for emergencies. Each year during the month of September, more than 3,000 national, state, and local organizations commemorate National Preparedness Month by promoting guidance and resources that help communities effectively prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and other catastrophic events. Ultimately, National Preparedness Month helps to ensure every resident in our nation has the skills they need to protect themselves and their families during an emergency. Continue reading

The Medical Reserve Corps – An Interview with Leaders Captain Rob Tosatto and Commander Skip Payne

The following is an excerpt from the summer 2017 issue of NACCHO Exchange. The issue features in-depth articles about the work of Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) units across the country. In this condensed article, NACCHO explores the history and significance of the MRC program in an interview with program leaders Captain Rob Tosatto and Commander Skip Payne. Read the full article and download the issue in the NACCHO Bookstore at http://eweb.naccho.org/prd/?na766pdf.

By Brennan J. Leddy, M.A.Ed (Ctr), Communications Specialist, Medical Reserve Corps Program, Partner Readiness and Emergency Programs Division, Office of Emergency Management, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. This year, the MRC celebrates its 15-year anniversary! Continue reading

NACCHO and ASPR Recognize Significant Contributions of Local Health Departments Advancing National Health Security

This story originally ran in NACCHO’s Preparedness Brief blog.

Local health departments’ day-to-day operations impact National Health Security across the country. Every time local health officials run a vaccination clinic, spearhead a disease prevention campaign, or deliver life saving provisions to disaster survivors, their work directly contributes to advancing the nation’s health security. In fact, everything local health departments do aims to improve the health of people in their community, and healthier people are more likely to survive a disaster and make a faster recovery. That’s what national health security is all about: creating a resilient nation through sustained health outcomes as a result of effective prevention, preparedness, and response efforts. Continue reading

2017 Preparedness Summit: A Must for Public Health Preparedness Professionals

By Claude-Alix Jacob, MPH, NACCHO President and Chief Public Health Officer for the Cambridge Public Health Department (MA)

Our nation’s resilience—how we collectively adapt in the face of adversity—often depends on the strength of individual communities and their ability to respond to and recover from emergencies. Public health preparedness, one of NACCHO’s signature program areas, is a year-round priority. NACCHO’s Preparedness staff collectively provide local health departments (LHDs) and their emergency management partners with resources, tools, and support to ensure their jurisdictions are protected against any risk to community health or safety. Continue reading

The Disaster Divide: Opportunities for Rebuilding Communities

By Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, MD, MPH, Executive Director, NACCHO

Think back to the nightmare of Hurricane Katrina. Those tragic images of high waters and despair. Broken levees. Survivors desperately searching to find missing relatives while struggling to reach higher ground. Victims stranded on rooftops waiting to be airlifted to safety. The chaotic overcrowding of temporary shelters like the Superdome in Louisiana.

Now think about the more recent Ebola virus threat. Hospital workers donning protective spacesuits. Government-imposed travel restrictions and citizens forced into home quarantine. Lacking even basic information, nearly every community across the globe feared the deadly contagion. Worse yet was the situation at the epicenter of the epidemic in Central West Africa, where thousands of infected and dying people were overwhelming small hospitals ill-equipped to handle the surge. Continue reading

A Look Back: The Best of NACCHO Preparedness

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By Anastasia Sonneman, NACCHO Communications Specialist

This story originally ran on NACCHO’s Preparedness Brief.

The year 2016 brought a whole new meaning to the importance of public health emergency preparedness. From the onset of Zika virus disease to international acts of violence related to terrorism, to the worst global migrant crisis since World War II, NACCHO has worked diligently in collaboration with many of its members and partners to enhance the capacity of local health departments (LHDs) to protect and increase the resiliency of their communities. As we enter the new year, many of NACCHO’s preparedness-related projects can still serve as a valuable resource to local preparedness staff. With this in mind, the NACCHO Preparedness team compiled the following list, highlighting a selection of the year’s featured programs, events, resources, and tools. Continue reading