NACCHO and CDC colleagues co-published a commentary, “Leveraging Partnerships Among Community Pharmacists, Pharmacies, and Health Departments to Improve Pandemic Inﬂuenza Response,” this month in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice and Science.
The abstract for the commentary follows:
Response to public health emergencies requires coordination across multiple sectors and effective use of existing resources in communities. With the expanded role of community pharmacists in public health during the past decade, their participation in response to emergencies has become increasingly important. Local health departments play a lead role in local public health emergency responses, and their ability to develop and leverage partnerships has become increasingly vital given their funding and personnel shortages. This article offers insight and recommendations on how local health departments can most effectively develop and maintain relationships with community pharmacies and pharmacists that will allow for a more coordinated and resourceful public health response to emergencies, and speciﬁcally to pandemic inﬂuenza outbreaks. Additionally, state and local health departments should reach out to pharmacies in a synchronized way to incorporate them into their pandemic inﬂuenza planning and response efforts. As pharmacists continue to expand their role as part of the public health system, pharmacy staff can be active participants with public health agencies to improve community public health emergency response.