Leslie Heyden, Suzi Bouveron, and Rebeca Boyte. Immunization Branch, California Department of Public Health, 850 Marina Bay Parkway, Bldg. P, 2nd Floor, Richmond, CA, USA
Learning Objectives for this Presentation: By the end of the presentation participants will be able to: • Explain how the three components of the training complement each other • Describe alternatives for continuity of education if schools close • List ways health departments can help schools and school districts prepare for an influenza pandemic
Background: Schools require emergency plans, but not necessarily for pandemic influenza emergencies. Some school districts had developed innovative pandemic preparedness models. Many others had yet to begin.
Setting: The components were a broadcast, tabletop exercise, and website. Each was designed to stand alone to maximize participation in a variety of environments, yet also work together as an integrated training program.
Population: The target audience included administrators from county offices of education, school districts, schools, and local health department staff involved in pandemic preparedness.
Project Description: • The broadcast featured public health and school officials, and school staff showcasing best practices. Topics included school closure, continuity of education, and incorporating pandemic planning into existing plans. • The tabletop exercise focused on a school closure scenario. • The website was created as a learning portal for participants and central point of contact during the train-the-trainer program.
Results/Lessons Learned: The training received positive feedback, though lack of resources prevents many school districts from developing in-depth plans or alternative curricula. The website played a key role, engaging both participants and facilitators. Participants especially appreciated connecting with key agencies in their jurisdictions during the tabletop exercises. Sites in 48 states registered to watch the broadcast; 38 California health departments participated.