Category Archives: Pandemics & Infectious Diseases

Improving health system preparedness for terrorism and mass casualty events: Recommendations for action

Source: American Medical Association/American Public Health Association, A consensus report from the AMA/APHA Linkages Leadership Summit, July 2007

From the press release:
Today a coalition of 18 health organizations led by the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Public Health Association (APHA) released a consensus report with 53 strategic recommendations for legislators, government officials and organizational leaders to more effectively prepare for and respond to catastrophic emergencies. The recommendations, especially nine identified as “critical,” serve as a national call to action from medicine, dentistry, nursing, hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS), and public health. The recommendations seek to strengthen health system preparedness and response through increased funding, greater integration, continued education and training and ensured legal protections for responders.

Nine critical recommendations from the consensus report make up a call to action in four categories:

Public health systems must be appropriately funded to adequately respond to day-to-day emergencies and catastrophic mass casualty events;
Public health and disaster response systems must be fully integrated and interoperable at all government levels;
Health care and public health professionals should maintain an appropriate level of education and training; and
Health care and public health responders must be provided and assured adequate legal protections in a disaster.
+ Action Brief
+ Signed Pledge of Commitment

Pandemic Planning Blog

Source: Secretary Leavitt (host), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

On June 13, Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, convened a leadership forum on pandemic preparedness, which brought together highly influential leaders from the business, faith, civic and health care sectors to discuss how best to help Americans become more prepared for a possible influenza pandemic. The Department is hosting this five-week blog to expand the conversation as part of an ongoing effort by the Department to help Americans become more prepared. HHS does not edit blog postings and cannot ensure that all included links are functioning. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Fouling An Attack

Source: Robert Barkin, American City & County, Vol. 122 no. 3, March 1, 2007

Preparing for emergencies is nothing new for Patricia Bean, Hillsborough County, Fla., administrator. After all, hurricanes are a way of life in the Southeast, and readiness for the next storm is at the top of every official’s list of essential tasks. But, anticipating an influenza pandemic is different. “We’re used to dealing with a situation that we see coming and then passes,” she says about hurricanes. “But this situation is very different. We may have 30 to 40 percent of our staff out of work. How can we cover that?”

Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Guidance for Healthcare Workers and Healthcare Employers

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA 3328-05, 2007

A comprehensive resource for healthcare planners and practitioners, the new guidance offers information and tools to assist the industry in preparing for and responding to an influenza pandemic. It includes technical information on infection control and industrial hygiene practices to reduce the risk of infection in healthcare settings; workplace preparations and planning issues; and OSHA standards that have special importance to pandemic preparedness planners and responders in the industry.

Agency Guidance – Human Capital Management Policy for a Pandemic Influenza

Source: U.S. Office of Personnel Management

The chart on the following page was developed to assist managers and supervisors in determining the appropriate course of action when confronted in the workplace with an employee who appears ill during a declared pandemic influenza outbreak or an employee who has been exposed to pandemic influenza. Employees who appear to be ill include those workers with pandemic flu-like symptoms (based on symptoms identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which will be posted at www.pandemicflu.gov once the symptoms are known). Employees who have been exposed to pandemic influenza include those employees who have a known, recent, and direct exposure to pandemic influenza (also based on guidance from CDC and from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The chart is intended to assist Federal supervisors and managers in assessing the capacity of their workforce to carry out the work for which the supervisor or manager will remain accountable during a pandemic influenza.

Pandemic Influenza: Best Practices and Model Protocols

Source: U.S. Fire Administration, April 2007

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for developing best practices and model protocols for use by State, local, tribal, and territorial personnel in the development of pandemic influenza plans, preparedness activities, training, and exercises. The content is a synopsis of input received from Federal, State, local, territorial, and tribal emergency medical services (EMS), fire, emergency management, public works, and sector-specific participants during a three-day forum sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security’s Chief Medical Officer and hosted by the U.S. Fire Administration on 23-25 February 2007. The results of this forum are being coordinated with the ongoing efforts of the Department of Transportation, the Department of Health and Human Services, and others.