The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) partnered with Radiation Injury Treatment Network (RITN) to identify, understand and address the gaps in public health, healthcare, and radiation control regarding outreach, training, and programmatic activities. During the 2017-2018 project year, NACCHO and RITN convened a subset of key stakeholders from these industries to meet regularly to discuss existing plans and strategies, in addition to identifying inconsistencies and shortfalls with existing programs.
The feedback gathered from this group helped inform and guide the discussion for an in-person workshop, which took place at the 2018 NACCHO Preparedness Summit. Attendees of the workshop noted that their agencies and its staff members found that the existing guidance materials lacked clarity, causing gaps in planning; they also noted that they weren’t certain of which channels of communications were available or recommended for use during a radiation situation; and pointed out the gap in addressing those with access and functional needs when creating and sharing radiation resources.
The feedback received from both the subset of key stakeholders and from the in-person workshop informed the development of recommendations that would address the gaps identified during the workshop, resulting in the Gap Analysis report. Some of the recommendations from the stakeholders included collaborating with other organizations or government agencies to create a national awareness event centered around radiation preparedness; educating and training health providers on the health risks associated with radiation; cross-training and collaborating with other departments or organizations to reach across existing silos; and working with state, local and federal government agencies to prioritize radiation preparedness through policy change and increased funding.
Both NACCHO and RITN plan to use the gap analysis report to address identified inconsistencies and shortfalls through training opportunities, technical assistance, and advocating for changes on a federal level regarding radiation preparedness.
The Gap Analysis report can be found here in the NACCHO Toolbox.