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NACCHO and CDC Award $3.3 Million to Eight Local Health Departments Selected as Advanced Practice Centers


Contact Becky Wexler
(301) 652-1558

Departments Will Provide Training and Resources for Local Public Health Preparedness
Washington, D.C. (September 15, 2009)—
Long before anyone had ever heard of the H1N1 influenza virus, local health departments were arming themselves to respond to a potential flu pandemic. In addition to developing their own flu response plans, health departments were taking advantage of resources such as “No Ordinary Flu,” a comic book that shows people with limited literacy skills how to keep themselves safe in a pandemic, and “Stop the Spread!,” a toolkit with patient handouts and multimedia resources for doctors to use during flu season. Both of these resources were developed by local health departments designated as Advanced Practice Centers (APCs) by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Today, NACCHO named a new network of APCs that will provide health departments across the country with preparedness training and tools that can be quickly and easily integrated into local plans, procedures, and practices to respond to a possible H1N1 pandemic and any other health emergency that may arise.

Five new health departments will join the Montgomery County Health Department (MD), Public Health-Seattle and King County (WA), and Tarrant County Public Health (TX), which have been part of the APC network since its inception in 2004. The newest APCs are the Lucas County Regional Health District (OH), the Mesa County Health Department (CO), the Multnomah County Health Department (OR), the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control – Region 7.

“In total, the network of local health departments selected to serve as Advanced Practice Centers reflects the diverse nature of health departments nationwide,” said NACCHO Executive Director Robert Pestronk. “Together, those local health departments in the network will develop products and processes and share solutions which are helpful to other local health departments across the country as they, in turn, seek to enhance their own preparedness to preserve the safety of our communities and citizens.”

Although individual focus areas will vary depending on individual department strengths, the APCs as a group will concentrate on providing health departments with tools to improve public health workforce preparedness; prepare for real-life responses through training exercises; communicate internally and with the public; collaborate with stakeholders; strengthen biosurveillance capacities; improve response capabilities to chemical and biological agents; develop stockpiling and distribution strategies; optimizing medical surge capacity; improve strategies for outreach to vulnerable populations; enhance mass fatality management;  improve understanding of the intersection of law and public health; strengthen the public health infrastructure and establishing plans for ensuring that the public has access to disaster mental health services.

NACCHO received 42 applications from local health departments across the country.  This network of APCs was chosen through a competitive proposal process and will be funded through September 2010.  For more information on the APC Program, visit www.naccho.org/apc.

About the Advanced Practice Center Program
The National Association of County and City Health Officials’ Advanced Practice Center (APC) Program is a diverse network of local health departments actively working to help the public health community prepare for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies and other disasters. The innovative tools, resources, and trainings the APCs develop are informed by public health experience and designed to efficiently address the needs of public health preparedness practitioners nationwide.

About the National Association of County and City Health Officials
NACCHO is the national organization representing the nation's nearly 2,800 local health departments. These agencies work every day on the front lines to protect and promote the health of their communities. NACCHO develops resources and programs and promotes national policies that support effective local public health practice.