The Preparedness Summit, held this year in Dallas April 19-22, is the first and longest running national conference on public health preparedness. This year, the Summit focuses on resiliency and recovery. There are several exciting sessions related to environmental health. Read more about the sessions below:
Danger at the Dinner Table: Understanding and Addressing Existing Threats to the Food System (Thursday, April 21, 8:30-10 AM): Local health departments play a critical role in providing food defense and safety education and outreach efforts to retail food establishments. This panel presentation is focused on sharing resources and programs that are available for health departments to strengthen their food defense and safety programs.
Water Preparedness and Response: Integrating Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene-Related Public Health Expertise into Preparedness Plans, and Responses to Natural Disasters, Emergencies, and Outbreaks
(Thursday, April 21, 1:30- 3 PM): Complex emergencies and outbreaks associated with drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene trigger emergency responses because of their potential for causing community-wide outbreaks and disruption. Participants will discuss recent water-related emergencies and current resources. They will identify needed public health planning resources, response tools, and applicable public health messaging.
Partnerships for Sustainable and Climate Resilient Healthcare Facilities (Thursday, April 21, 1:30- 3 PM): This session will raise awareness of the changing threats to healthcare facilities associated with climate change and initiate a discussion with participants about how to incorporate new informational resources and initiatives into existing healthcare facility preparedness activities.
Community Recovery and Health Impact Assessment: Lessons from Brownfield Redevelopment
(Thursday, April 21, 3:30-5 PM): Brownfields primarily occur in or near underserved communities without access to the resources to change their circumstances on their own. The same communities are often directly affected by post-disaster redevelopment plans and need a mechanism to make their voices heard and to make the health risks implicit. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a tool that can be used to promote transparency, clarify and communicate health risks, and provide recommendations to enhance health promoting aspects of the plan and to change parts of the plan that detract from health (like cutting emissions). This session will discuss the lessons learned from implementing an HIA as part of the brownfields redevelopment process and make recommendations for improving post-disaster redevelopment through its use.
Social Media Monitoring during Public Health Emergencies: Ebola and Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak in New York City (Wednesday, April 20, 3:30-5 PM): Monitoring social media is a critical Incident Command System capability for public health emergency response and recovery. Learn how the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene used social media to inform decision-making for the Ebola and Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak responses.