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  JUNE 05, 2009
ASPH NEWS OF NOTE
Preparedness & Response Core Competency Development Project Leadership Group Meeting

Preparedness, Response Competencies Leadership MeetingOn June 2-3, Dean Audrey Gotsch (UMDNJ) and Dr. C. William Keck led the first meeting of the Preparedness & Response Core Competency Development Project Leadership Group. The meeting, held in Alexandria, VA, commenced the development of public health preparedness and response competencies. Attendees found the meeting productive and helpful in building rapport and communicating the scope, process and next steps for the project.

The objectives of the meeting included:

  • Review of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) and the model development charge and roles.
  • Identification of tenets and guidlines for the competency model development process; the level of integration of the preparedness competencies with existing competency frameworks/models; the target audience for the competencies; and the level of performance to which the competencies will be targeted.
  • Specification of the competency model framework; performance domains; and core competencies.

Drawn from public health practice and schools of public health, experts were assembled to guide the development of public health preparedness and response core competencies. Known as the Leadership Group, these leaders also brought issues and concerns of their own constituent groups and key partners about the project to the table. In the coming year, the leaders will convene work groups that will follow a consensus-building process to distill the essential competencies for the public health preparedness and response workforce.

The members of the Leadership Group who attended the meeting include:

  • Dean Audrey Gotsch, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Public Health (co-chair);
  • Dr. C. William Keck, professor emeritus, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (co-chair);
  • Dean Richard D. Clover, University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences;
  • Dr. Kristine M. Gebbie, Joan Grabe Dean, Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, City University of New York;
  • Dr. James J. James, director, Center for Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response, American Medical Association;
  • Dr. Michael T. Handrigan, senior medical advisor and acting director, Emergency Care Coordination Center, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response;
  • Dr. Kraig E. Humbaugh, director, Division of Epidemiology and Health Planning, Kentucky Department of Public Health;
  • Dr. David Marcozzi, senior medical advisor, Office of Preparedness & Response Operations, Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Dr. Kathleen Miner, associate dean for applied public health, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health;
  • Dr. William J. Riley, associate professor and associate dean for student affairs, University of Minnesota School of Public Health;
  • Dr. Steven J. Rottman, director and adjunct professor, Center for Public Health and Disasters, University of California at Los Angeles School of Public Health;
  • Capt. Kenneth W. Schor, assistant professor of preventive medicine and biometrics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences;
  • Dr. Andrea Young, senior learning officer, Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and
  • Dr. Craig Thomas, chief, Outcome Monitoring and Evaluation Branch, Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (liaison).

The members of the Leadership Group who could not attend the meeting include:

  • Capt. D. W. Chen, medical officer, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Department of Defense;
  • Dr. Kimberly Elenberg, medical readiness manager, Office of Force Readiness and Deployment, Office of the Surgeon General;
  • Ms. Vanessa Murphy, public health preparedness educator, Rensselaer County Department of Health, New York; and
  • Dr. Peggy Wittie, chief epidemiologist, Health Care Services, Collin County Health Department, Texas.

Others in attendance included:

  • Dr. Tanis M. Batsel, deputy director, Emergency Preparedness & Contingency Support, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, U.S. Navy Surgeon General (attended the meeting on behalf of Dr. D.W. Chen);
  • Dr. Judith Calhoun, associate professor, University of Michigan School of Public Health;
  • Mr. Jack Hermann, senior advisor, Public Health Preparedness, National Association of County & City Health Officials (attended the meeting on behalf of Ms. Vanessa Murphy and Dr. Peggy Wittie);
  • Ms. Wanda King, deputy learning officer, Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
  • Dr. Robyn Lebovitz, Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and
  • Dr. Daniel M. Sosin, acting director, Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Remarks and Presentations
Dr. Harrison Spencer (ASPH) welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for their willingness to participate in such an important effort. Dr. Spencer thanked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its years of collaboration with schools of public health. He also thanked co-chairs Dean Gotsch and Dr. Keck for their leadership on the project.

Dr. Daniel M. Sosin, acting director of the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response at the CDC, presented how public health and medical emergency response systems work together. A copy of Dr. Sosin’s presentation is available online at www.asph.org/competency under the Preparedness and Response Core Competency Development Project.

Faculty consultant Dr. Judith Calhoun (Michigan) presented an overview of the competency development process. Dr. Calhoun reviewed resource materials, the anatomy of a competency model, current models and comparisons and identification of project organizing tenets and guidelines.

Background
ASPH has been asked by the CDC to engage the appropriate experts to develop a proposed model of core competencies for the public health preparedness and response workforce. This effort is supported by a Cooperative Agreement from the CDC, Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness & Emergency Response (COTPER).

The competency model will build on existing work in the emergency preparedness and response field and will provide a proposed national standard of skills that are needed for the public health workforce in all-hazards preparedness and response situations. The project meets one of the mandates of the 2006 Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA). The COTPER Board of Scientific Counselors is expected to deliberate on the proposed model that results from the ASPH efforts and provide recommendations for its implementation. The model of core competencies will ultimately be used to adapt current curricula and develop new curricula, as appropriate, to train the public health workforce.

Call for Workgroup Participants
Starting in September, work groups will begin to draft core preparedness and response competencies. If you are interested in volunteering, please E-mail Mr. John McElligott at jmcelligott@asph.org. Volunteers will begin reviewing background documents in July 2009.

The time commitment will include participating in conference calls with your workgroup and providing both written and verbal feedback several times between September 2009 and January 2010. ASPH encourages public health practitioners to volunteer.

For more information about the Public Health Preparedness and Response Core Competency Development Project, please visit www.asph.org/competency.