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Story from the Field

Name of Health Department/Agency: Yuma County Public Health Services District
State: AZ
Date Added: 05/11/2009
Themes: Medical Care and Countermeasures,State and Local Coordination
Issue Summary: Good communication and collaboration at local level
Description of Issue(s): What we learned as challenges:
1.? Information was coming to us so rapidly that we found it hard to keep up.? Information showing up at a higher level, before the locat health departments had the information.
2. When the SNS was deployed, it was out of sync from how plans had been originally written.? We spent years developing a way in which to handle events and found ourselves thinking and responding at the moment.
3. Did not receive pediatric doses from SNS, so had to absorb costs for compounding medication.
4. There seemed to be a great deal of responsibility placed on local health departments at a time when funding is being cut back.
5. The expectations from the community was that the local health department was to update everyone and know everything.?
Actions taken to address the issue(s): Positive lessons learned:
1. We worked very closely with our state health department.? They were on top of the information and passed it on to us regularly.? If we needed assistance, they made every effort to help us even though they were extremely busy.
2. We were amazed at how well the businesses worked with us.? They really stepped forward and volunteered their services even though it meant an impact on their profit margin.? They saw the bigger picture and stepped up.
3. The working relationships with the school districts was wonderful.? We worked together on establishing protocol, getting information out to parents and students, and we stood together when hard decisions had to be made.?
4. The hospital (we have only one) and the health department worked very closely together.? We coordinated conference call or meetings to keep each other informed.? We also coordinated all media through the County PIO and hospital PIO so consistent messages were going out to the public.
Outcomes that resulted from actions taken: I am impressed at how well the community communicated and worked together at the local level.? Also, how well the state responded to the needs of the state.

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