February 9, 2017 - The past 18 months have stayed more or less at a dull roar for preparedness and response. From public health emergencies including the water crisis in Flint, MI and on-going Zika response efforts, to natural disasters such as the flooding in Baton Rouge, LA and Hurricane Matthew, and even special security events such as the presidential inauguration, the emergency management and public health communities have been on our toes.
Much has been written about the significant challenges these events have posed. The variety and even the confluence of these events – and the cascading effects they have on our ability to create sustainable public health preparedness and response capabilities – has also served to underscore the value of partnerships.
Healthcare delivery is complex enough to begin with, and these complexities are exacerbated during a disaster. Luckily, healthcare and public health practitioners are extremely dedicated to helping their communities and this desire is amplified during a disaster where the sole goal is to save lives. This drive to protect communities and patients is not just at the local level, but also at the state and federal levels where policy is created that directly impacts how local health workers are able to do their jobs.
The key way to create success at those levels is through partnerships as many voices ring louder and garner more attention to issues. In the course of our response efforts during the past year, Healthcare Ready has been a strong member of several new partnerships and expanded existing ones. A few examples include:
These experiences, along with many others from the past year, continue to emphasize the real value and impact partnerships can have on community well-being, particularly during disasters – and the high pace of crises demonstrate the need for partnerships now more than ever. They can be especially helpful to public health which is constantly doing more with fewer resources. The team here at Healthcare Ready is always available to lend our expertise, to try to connect you to resources, and to hear your innovations and complaints.