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State of public health emergency response leadership training: A multitiered organizational perspective

Anthony Salerno, MSc, Yang Li, MPH, MS, Xiaohong M. Davis, PhD, MS, MA, Gail Stennies, MD, MPH, Daniel J. Barnett, MD, MPH, Mary K. Fisher, PhD, Laura Biesiadecki, MPH, Debra Dekker, PhD, NhuNgoc Pham, MPH, Juliana L. Pearson, MA, Michelle N. Podgornik, MPH, MSLIS, David W. Hunter, MPH, MSW, Sara Vagi, PhD, Edbert B. Hsu, MD, MPH


Objective: To capture organizational level information on the current state of public health emergency response leadership training.

Design: A web-based questionnaire.

Participants: This multitiered assessment of health departments included two distinct respondent groups: (1) Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Cooperative Agreement recipients (n = 34) and (2) local health departments (LHDs) (n = 169) representative of different agency sizes and populations served.

Results: Overall, PHEP and LHD respondents expressed a clear preference for participatory learning with practical drills/exercises and participatory workshops as the preferred training delivery modes. Compared with technical and role-specific training, leadership training was less available. For both PHEP and LHD respondents, staff availability for training is most notably limited due to lack of time. For PHEP respondents, a common factor limiting agency ability to offer training is lack of mentors/instructors, whereas for LHD respondents, it is limited funding.

Conclusions: Efforts should focus on increasing accessibility and the continued development of rigorous and effective training based on practical experience in all aspects of multitiered public health emergency response leadership.



public health, training, leadership, emergency response, PHEP

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