Medical Countermeasures (MCM) Workgroup October Report

On October 13, the MCM Workgroup held its fourth monthly call of the project year. On the call, a representative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spoke the of the expanded response role of CDC staff being deployed internationally to West Africa and nationally to the 5 airports doing increased entry screening of travelers arriving to the United States from Ebola-affected countries. CDC also stated that guidance for the provision of 60-day anthrax post exposure prophylaxis for an aerosolized anthrax response would likely be released before the end of the year and discussed on the next MCM Link webinar (date not yet determined).

The MCM Workgroup has also begun the review of the MCM Toolkit which contains tools and resources to assist local health departments with MCM distribution and dispensing planning. The review is meant to identify outdated tools, determine what gaps exist, then expand the resources available in the toolkit.

In addition, the MCM workgroup discussed potential curriculum topics for a New Preparedness Coordinators Training Program that NACCHO will be piloting this year. The program is meant to orient new preparedness coordinators to important guidance, policies, and agencies, to have them create a personal development plan, and to establish a mentorship program. A formal announcement of this program to solicit participation from new preparedness coordinators and mentors will soon follow.

The MCM workgroup also discussed directions for an updated Smallpox Vaccination Policy Statement that is up for revision this year. The call concluded with workgroup members discussing current challenges they were facing with the Ebola response in their communities. Workgroup members stated the need for consistent public messaging and guidance, the increased demand on the workforce to respond to public inquires and to provide trainings to healthcare workers, and the need to update and review their isolation and quarantine protocols. The next call will be on Monday, November 10.

About Raymond Puerini

Raymond Puerini, MPH, is a Senior Program Analyst on the Environmental Health, Pandemic Preparedness, and Catastrophic Response team at NACCHO. His work includes sharing best practices for the distribution and dispensing of medical countermeasures and developing policy and guidance to support strategic national stockpile responses. Twitter: @Are_You_Ray_Dy

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