As National Preparedness Month comes to a close, DomPrep would like to remind its readers that preparedness is a year-round process that involves practitioners at all levels, not just the public relations personnel. Emergency preparedness and response agencies are taking steps to better prepare their communities. One good example of this type of outreach comes from Baltimore City’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen, who hosts a live weekly call-in podcast to share information and to address the city’s health concerns.
As in any large city, public health is a topic of great concern, as dense populations make communicable diseases easier to spread and disease investigation more time intensive. Each week, Wen engages a roundtable of subject matter experts to address lessons learned and best practices around the city on various topics of interest – for example, Ebola, rabies, 9/11, anthrax, risk assessments, prophylaxis, bioterrorism, preparedness kits, mass vaccination, civil unrest, and many others.
There is a growing awareness of the need for interdisciplinary collaboration and multijurisdictional mutual aid across the nation. For example, some Baltimore, Maryland, public health officials were surprised by the role that public health played in police matters during the city’s recent civil unrest. However, it takes years to build such efforts and requires engagement by the entire community to make these efforts effective. Practitioners in all disciplines must be proactive throughout the year to keep their communities engaged and prepared for any emergency or disaster incident that may occur.
Listen to the most recent episode (recorded on 18 September 2015) of B’More Health Talks at: