239: Infectious Disease Planning

Winfred Rawls, ASTHO’s Director for Preparedness and Evaluation, explains a project that will lead to the development of a clearinghouse with information to help public health agencies get ready for the next crisis; Andrea Flinchum, State HAI...


Winfred Rawls, ASTHO’s Director for Preparedness and Evaluation, explains a project that will lead to the development of a clearinghouse with information to help public health agencies get ready for the next crisis; Andrea Flinchum, State HAI Prevention Program Manager with the Kentucky Department for Public Health, discusses dialysis getting new attention from a coalition working to make the treatment safer for patients; an ASTHO brief outlines several areas where inequities in reproductive health services still exist; and public health leaders can assess and improve their leadership skills with the DiSC Personality Assessment.

ASTHO Webpage: Public Health Innovations Catalog

CDC Webpage: Making Dialysis Safer For Patients Coalition

ASTHO Brief: Reproductive Health Services Expanded During Pandemic but Inequities Persist

ASTHO Blog Article: How the DiSC Personality Assessment Can Strengthen Public Health Leadership

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Transcript

ROBERT JOHNSON:

This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Thursday, August 11th, 2022. I'm Robert Johnson.

Now, today's news from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

 

WINFRED RAWLS:

The project is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded initiative, basically to assess the effectiveness of infectious disease planning.

JOHNSON:

That's Win Rawls of ASTHO on a project that will lead to development of a clearinghouse with information on workforce development, data management and integration, training, and resources, partnerships, and collaboration.

RAWLS:

While activity one was to identify a cohort of organization and federal partners for their input and feedback on preparedness plans around infectious disease planning, activity two will be to conduct a comprehensive assessment of CDC and ASTHO resources on the same four topical areas that were developed and/or disseminated during the COVID-19 response that can be applied to preparedness planning.

CDC plans to utilize this information, collect it, to help focus priorities for infectious disease planning and response, and to better support the overall public health workforce.

JOHNSON:

Rawls says public health officials can get ready for the next crisis by shoring up current systems, educating people about their role in a response, running drills, and learning how to leverage technology.

RAWLS:

We know that technology, for example, played a big part in this response. We think back to the pandemic of 1918, where we didn't have telephones and we depended on human operators. This time, it's much different. We know that there is a cell phone in the hand of just about every American 16 years or older, and that's gonna be key going forward because we can stay abreast, very timely, on such things as quarantining, social distancing, contact tracing.

 

JOHNSON:

Dialysis is getting new attention from a coalition working to make the treatment safer for patients. Andrea Flinchum with the Kentucky Department of Public Health recently spoke to members of a CDC-hosted coalition focused on improving dialysis. She says American Rescue Plan funding has been critical.

ANDREA FLINCHUM:

For us, it meant ensuring we had the capacity to assess and improve support for the prevention of HAIs in the outpatient dialysis practices. For other states, I would suggest a similar strategy.

While they may not be able to hire infection prevention in the same way that we have in Kentucky, they can look to their infection prevention community for those who may be interested in conducting assessments on the state's behalf.

JOHNSON:

Flinchum adds the coalition and a related Making Dialysis Safer online community together have helped bring attention to the need for better practices.

FLINCHUM:

You know, we think of hospitals and we think of long-term care, not always outpatient dialysis settings. But you know, having awareness in your state about what your numbers look like, how many people are actually utilizing those services, I think is an eye-opener.

JOHNSON:

Read more about the coalition and apply to become a member using the link in the show notes.

 

Also today, reproductive health services expanded during the pandemic, but a new ASTHO brief outlined several areas where inequities still exist. For example, the brief considers progress made in telehealth, but reminds us that it's only as good as the patient's internet connection. You can read the brief using the link in the show notes.

 

Finally this morning, public health leaders can assess and improve their leadership skills with the DiSC Personality Assessment. The tool is summarized in a new ASTHO blog article. Find out more about the assessment using the link in the show notes.

 

That'll do it for today's newscast. We're back tomorrow morning with more ASTHO news and information.

I'm Robert Johnson. You're listening to Public Health Review Morning Edition. Have a great day.

Winfred Rawls

Director, Preparedness and Evaluation

Andrea Flinchum MPH

State HAI Prevention Program Manager, Kentucky Department of Public Health