In the fall of 2014, a sampling of state and local jurisdictions participated as early adopters, completing the Medical Countermeasure Operational Readiness Review (MCM ORR) for the first time. The 2014 – 2015 year was a pilot year for the ORR tool and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected in-depth feedback data from nine jurisdictions undergoing their reviews. Other jurisdictions that completed the ORR process that were not part of the formative nine, also provided feedback about their experiences completing the ORR for the first time. Using the data that were collected from these pilot year reviews, the CDC is now re-drafting the ORR for next year’s release to all state Public Health Emergency Preparedness grant awardees and a wider audience of local Cities Readiness Initiative grant awardees.
Conducting the pilot year review was an opportunity that provided many lessons learned to all those involved. Melissa Marquis, Public Health Emergency Response Specialist of the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District in CT, who completed the pilot year ORR had this to say about her experiences going through the ORR process:
“Having been part of the CDC workgroup to develop the new MCM ORR tool has been a tremendous asset to my colleagues and I throughout my state. I was also fortunate to be able to take the MCM ORR tool for a test drive when Connecticut was reviewed as part of the early adopter review session. I knew exactly what the intent was behind each function, and knew exactly where to locate the necessary information in our plans. There were, of course, a few tools that were of great assistance during my preparations for the ORR review. These included a couple of excel documents that colleagues in Michigan and New York created which provided the ORR capabilities and functions and cross-walked them with the previous Technical Assistance Review (TAR) tool. The other more significant tool that allowed my region to complete the ORR in a very short period of time was using our regional Project Public Health Ready (PPHR) application portfolio. Using the PPHR portfolio was invaluable for us because it contained all the plans in one concise location (it contained over 800 files), and since I was the person responsible for completing that application, I knew exactly where things were located and what could be used as evidence for the ORR review.” – Melissa Marquis
On Tuesday, April 14 from 10:30 AM – 12 PM at the 2015 Preparedness Summit in Atlanta, Melissa will be part of a panel of speakers from the federal, state, and local level to discuss major findings, challenges, and lessons learned from the pilot year ORR review. Federal speakers from the CDC will present on their pilot year review process and the major findings from the data they collected. State presenters will discuss some of the challenges they faced and will demo the excel crosswalks they created to assist locals in their jurisdictions in completing the review. Melissa will also be there to further elaborate on the local perspective.
For those not in attendance, the session will be recorded and posted on the Summit learning portal following the Summit. Additionally, CDC and NACCHO plan to hold webinars in June and July to prepare jurisdictions for the upcoming expanded ORR rollout. More information on these learning resources will be shared on the NACCHO Preparedness Blog as it becomes available. Read more information on ORR resources