The University of Pittsburgh Center for Public Health Preparedness (UPCPHP) provided frontline public health and health care professionals, with access to national and local preparedness information and public health competency-based training resources. Funding for UPCPHP was provided through the Center for Public Health Practice by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2004 to 2010.
Under the direction of Samuel Stebbins, MD, MPH, the Preparedness Center offered approximately 11,000 training hours to over 1,600 public health professionals. It implemented several hallmark training programs such as the School Preparedness Program, Rural Preparedness Program, Legal Preparedness Program, Leadership Institute, and Student Public Health Epidemic Response Effort.
The Public Health Preparedness Law program served as a resource for preparedness law information to individuals with responsibility for public health preparedness and response. It facilitated collaboration between preparedness partners to identify legal preparedness needs, conducted research and analysis, developed tools to enhance public health practitioner legal competency, and provided public health law training to enhance preparedness for public health emergencies. Several of these tools are still requested today.
Go to the legal preparedness archive.
The Preparedness Center, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) , and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) partnered to provide key training to school personnel in planning for and responding to emergencies in schools. Approximately 810 school nurses in Pennsylvania completed a day-long training specific to their role in disasters (View Training Map). In addition, 150 K-12 school personnel, such as administrators, security directors, counselors, and transportation directors, have been trained to the National Incident Management System standards established by Homeland Security Presidential Directive #5. Team training was also provided in "Responding to Public Health Emergencies in Schools." In addition to school nurses, UPCPHP trained other school personnel, such as administrators.
The partnership spawned several more activities including:
- Action Guide to Protect Mental Health in Schools During Disasters (View pdf of Action Guide)
- CE-accredited online course for school nurses
- An action chart for school nurses based on Department of Homeland Security color codes (View pdf of Color Code Guide).
Go to the school preparedness archive.
The University of Pittsburgh Center for Rural Health Practice (CRHP) was the rural coordinating unit of the Preparedness Center. The Rural preparedness Program was unique in providing a rare opportunity for the non-traditional secondary responder to meet face-to-face and train with their community’s first responders. Upon completion of this course, all attendees were better able to:
- Identify critical public health & mental health emergency functions and services
- Understand agency roles and responsibilities within an existing emergency management framework
- Identify key partners in community-based disease surveillance and early warning systems
- Communicate infection control practices and procedures to protect self, family, patients and others
- Evaluate the role of local hospitals and laboratories in supporting disease prevention & control
- Know where to turn for additional information and emergency planning guidance
View the Rural Preparedness Textbook.
The Graduate Certificate Program in Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response was founded in 2003 as a response to the growing threats to the public's health. This program has continued under the Center for Public Health Practice.
Go to the Graduate Certificate Program.
The Preparedness Center offered leadership training to provide essential training to public health and other emergency preparedness and response personnel. This program has continued under the Center for Public Health Practice.
Founded in 2007, SPHERE is an organization of public health students and community members that participate in outbreak and response activities with local and state health departments, attend monthly meetings, participate in epidemiological investigation training, and volunteer at community health events and promotions. This program has continued under the Center for Public Health Practice and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
The Preparedness Center published over 50 monthly newsletters and alerts between 2006 and 2010. The e-newsletter provided approximately 900 subscribers with the latest information from a variety of public health interest areas. Each issue had a feature story drawing attention to major news, breaking news from around the world, and resources about an emerging infectious diseases.
Go to the Preparedness E-newsletter Archive.