Event Recap: ASPR Recovery Workshop

On March 3–4, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) held a Recovery Workshop to engage stakeholders from state, local, territorial, and tribal governments, as well as non-profit, private, foundational, and other non-governmental entities in discussions regarding disaster recovery planning. The purpose of this workshop was to collect feedback, impressions, experiences, challenges, and opportunities from attendees related to this field.

Staff from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the Association for State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) analyzed conversations from these working sessions to identify emerging themes and areas of further exploration for disaster recovery.

Participants identified the following themes and concepts across all working sessions, warranting further discussion and investigation:

  • recovery funding,
  • communication,
  • healthcare coalitions,
  • non-governmental partnerships,
  • legal authority/regulations,
  • recovery processes,
  • leveraging of existing resources,
  • long-term recovery planning,
  • data collection, and
  • general knowledge among organizations tasked with recovery operations.

These themes and concepts can be consolidated into four high-priority areas: (1) recovery funding, (2) recovery organizational structure, (3) recovery data and information collection/dissemination, and (4) recovery education and training.

The 2015 HHS/ASPR Recovery Workshop provided subject matter experts with the opportunity to address several recovery-related issues associated with their specific areas of expertise. During conversation, attendees recognized that while each incident and community is unique, and that it is imperative to identify and address needs appropriately, many of their concerns were fairly consistent across disciplines and locations.

As a follow-up to discussions and themes discovered during the recovery workshop, ASTHO and NACCHO held a series of focus groups with representatives from state and local health departments to discuss disaster recovery at the state and local level.  During these discussions, participants dove deeper into current recovery activities, strengths, opportunities, and partnerships. The information collected during the recovery workshop and follow-up focus groups will help inform future focus areas and disaster recovery activities at the local, state, and federal levels.

For more information, and to see the detailed reports, please view the following documents:

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