August 13, 2003
In this issue:
- Local Public Health Cooperative Agreement
- Strategic National Stockpile Planning Workshop
- Metro Region CDC/HRSA Collaboration
- Has Bioterrorism Preparedness Improved Public Health?
- Radiological Emergency Preparedness Training
On July 22, 2003 the SCHSAC* Preparedness Review Group met to discuss the local public health duties for the upcoming 2003-2004 CDC Bioterrorism grant. As a starting point, the group reviewed a summary of each of the focus area proposals that make up the CDC grant application.
Before the meeting adjourned, the review group developed a work plan for August. Rather than meet in person, the group will meet via conference call. Conference calls were held on July 28, and August 7. Another call will be scheduled before the end of the month of August. Preliminary drafts of the local public health duties are being organized by focus area. The current timeline is to finalize the language for the cooperative agreements by September.
*SCHSAC: State Community Health Services Advisory Committee
The Minnesota Department of Health is developing the guidance document for receiving, storing and distributing the Strategic National Stockpile of pharmaceuticals that will be utilized in the event of a public health emergency involving mass casualties.
In order to complete the guidance, the MDH Office of Emergency of Preparedness held a Strategic National Stockpile(SNS) planning workshop on Wednesday August 6, 2003 to accomplish two outcomes. First, the workshop was intended to train the MDH District Office Public Health Preparedness Consultants on how to implement the SNS planning process in their respective regions. Second, reports from a small group exercise will be used to help complete the MDH SNS Planning Guidance document.
John Dragseth, Minnesota’s CDC SNS Program Representative began the workshop with an overview of the Strategic National Stockpile. Mr. Dragseth also mentioned several new initiatives for the SNS program including recruitment of volunteers to work in an SNS deployment; an online version of the planning guidance; a basic SNS course that will be provided to 75 persons quarterly, and modeling software for mass clinic planning that is available online at
The workshop facilitators Ginny Baresch, MDH-OEP and Pat Henderson, a communications consultant, devoted the remainder of the day to instruct the regional planners on a process known as Strategic Mapping. This planning system organizes an information “brain dump” session into four levels. 1). What do we want to do? 2). What will it take to do the task(s) 3). What is the outcome from doing the task(s) 4). The mission statement that evolves from accomplishing the task(s).
MDH OEP facilitators divided the workshop participants into five subject matter
groups based on the MDH SNS Draft Guidance document;
Pre-event planning, communications
Health emergency coordination
State role and responsibilities in the SNS
Clearly, Strategic Mapping demonstrated that a single task is divisible into dozens of sub-tasks. Each of the groups generated a large amount of information, then organized their thoughts according to the four levels of strategic mapping. Each group reported their findings back to all the participants.
After the strategic mapping the workshop participants separated into groups by region in order to develop a comprehensive list of regional stakeholders and their roles and responsibilities with respect to the SNS deployment.
Eventually, the feedback from the strategic mapping and stakeholder group
reports will be incorporated into a final version of the MDH SNS Guidance.
Over the next few months the MDH Preparedness Consultants will facilitate regional
SNS planning meetings throughout Minnesota.
In mid to late September, local public health agencies in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area will host a meeting with representatives from health systems, primary care clinics, and other partner organizations to discuss collaboration in emergency preparedness planning.
CDC and HRSA, two federal agencies with dedicated grants for public health and hospital emergency preparedness, emphasize the need for hospital surge capacity of 500 persons per 1,000,000 population. This translates to 1200 persons for the metro region, and prophylaxis to the entire population in 3-5 days if needed (2,500,000 persons in the metro region). These two goals make clinic and health system participation essential to the discussion and planning for this level of response. Moreover, it is also a reality that in any large outbreak or other public health emergency, clinics may see their own surge of ill, injured or so-called “worried well,” so partnerships with local public health departments and an efficient, coordinated system of triage and care will be needed.
Invitations to the September meeting will include the leadership of major health systems serving the region (and the state), such as Fairview, United, HealthPartners and Allina as well as partner agencies such as the Neighborhood Health Care Network and the Minnesota Council on Health Plans. After the initial meeting, the group will identify appropriate members for ongoing discussion and planning, including surveying clinics for their current and planned activities and capacity. It is hoped that this effort, in combination with local efforts in each jurisdiction, will lead to improved working relationships on an everyday basis and to increased regional collaboration.
Issue Brief No. 65
Authors: Andrea Staiti, Aaron Katz, John F. Hoadley
Here is a link to an article from the Center for Studying Health System Change's (HSC). The article summarizes some of the effects of the investment into the public health infrastructure through the infusion of federal bioterrorism funds. Has Bioterrorism Preparedness Improved Public Health?
The article is divided into the following sub-headings:
National Focus on Public Health Preparedness
Modest Negative Effects but Increasing Anxiety
Budget Cuts Hit Core Public Health Activities
Outlook for Public Health
Many of you are starting to inquire about training opportunities for radiological emergency preparedness (REP).
In addition, MDH is offering a free program on nuclear and radiological terrorism
to first responders, public officials and citizens groups upon request. The
basic program is 3 1/2 hours (1/2 day) and covers domestic and international
terrorism; radiation terminology, exposure measurement and consequences; and
a “talk through” of incident response.
An additional 1 1/2 hour program is added for first responders to cover monitoring equipment operation, decontamination and situational discussions.
For more information about the program visit the MDH MDH Radiation website.