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Journal of Community Health

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 285–293 | Cite as

Emergency Preparedness Training and Response Among Community Health Centers and Local Health Departments: Results from a Multi-State Survey

  • Elizabeth AblahEmail author
  • Kelly S. Konda
  • Kurt Konda
  • Mollie Melbourne
  • Julie Nelson Ingoglia
  • Kristine M. Gebbie
Original Paper

Abstract

Due to their access to medically underserved and vulnerable populations, community health centers (CHCs) can play an essential role in emergency response. CHCs often fill this role in partnership with other local health resources, such as local health departments (LHD). Little research has been done to understand the success of these partnerships as it relates to emergency planning and emergency response. This study compares CHC and LHD personnel regarding past, present, and future collaborative preparedness and response activities. Surveys were distributed electronically to 1,265 clinical and clerical staff at LHDs and CHCs in 23 states who met the study criteria. Of the 522 respondents, 287 (55%) reported having engaged in collaborative preparedness activities in general, with CHCs more likely to report partnering than LHDs. LHDs were more likely than CHCs to report taking part in specific preparedness activities, such as planning activities (91, 79%), (χ2(1, N = 280) = 7.395, P < 0.05), mass dispensing drill/exercises (65, 42%), (χ2(1, N = 279) = 14.019, P < 0.001), and communication drill/exercises (69, 47%), (χ2(1, N = 280) = 13.059, P < 0.001). This study suggests that collaborations between CHCs and LHDs in general are occurring, but these general collaboration are not being translated into participation in functional drills or exercises. Additional efforts to ensure a more comprehensive partnership between CHCs and LHDs in emergency preparedness are warranted.

Keywords

Community health centers Local health departments Collaboration Preparedness 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The New York Consortium for Emergency Preparedness Continuing Education (NYCEPCE) program was funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), grant number 621889815.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Ablah
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kelly S. Konda
    • 1
  • Kurt Konda
    • 1
  • Mollie Melbourne
    • 2
  • Julie Nelson Ingoglia
    • 3
  • Kristine M. Gebbie
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Preventive Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of Kansas School of Medicine, WichitaWichitaUSA
  2. 2.Training and Technical Assistance DepartmentNational Association of Community Health CentersBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.Community Health, National Association of County and City Health OfficialsWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Hunter-Bellevue School of NursingCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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