National Survey Captures Local Health Department Successes at Community Engagement in Emergency Preparedness

This summer, NACCHO, the De Beaumont Foundation, and the UPMC Center for Health Security are collaborating in the national release of the 2015 “Community Engagement for Public Health Emergency Preparedness” (CEPHEP) survey. The CEPHEP survey provides local health departments (LHDs) an important platform to document their efforts at enabling residents as well as community- and faith-based organizations to strengthen hometown readiness, response, and recovery. Emergency preparedness coordinators (EPCs) should be on the lookout for an email invitation to participate in the survey over the next few weeks. The on-line survey takes no more than 15 minutes to complete.

By completing the original CEPHEP survey in 2012, EPCs helped to produce the first comprehensive, nationwide picture of how their agencies are adopting participatory and collaborative approaches to emergency preparedness. Moreover, EPCs were able to register which organizational factors (e.g., leadership, able staff, willing partners, formal planning) had the most influence on their success. For more details on the 2012 findings, please see the study report published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.

The project team strongly encourages EPCs to set aside a few moments to complete the 2015 CEPHEP survey. A comparison between the 2012 and 2015 snapshots provides the chance to document LHD achievements since 2012, to predict with greater certainty the ingredients for success, and to explore how steady staff and budget reductions may have affected work in this arena. For more information, please contact Ms. Sanjana Ravi, the project coordinator, at sravi@upmc.edu.

About the Authors
Monica Schoch-Spana, PhD, and Jennifer Nuzzo, DrPH, are co-principal investigators for the 2015 CEPHEP survey and Senior Associates with the UPMC Center for Health Security.

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