The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) partners with federal agencies and organizations to implement projects that address children's needs in disasters. For more information about the following projects, please e-mail DisasterReady@aap.org.
Community Readiness for Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza
The AAP receives funding through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to coordinate this project, which aims to support pediatricians, health care professionals, early education and child care providers, and others who care for children to employ influenza prevention and control strategies to increase immunization rates, promote early and aggressive treatment, and support an improved infrastructure for influenza outbreaks or pandemics.
Project activities include:
Pediatric Emergency and Disaster Preparedness
The AAP receives funding through a cooperative agreement with the CDC to coordinate this project, which aims to support an improved public health infrastructure to address children's issues in emergency or disaster situations. Emphasis is placed on promoting state pediatric and public health partnerships to encourage joint discussions and collaborative planning about children's needs before an emergency or disaster.
The first tabletop exercise, held in January 2016, paired a select group of public health professionals with AAP Chapter leaders and subject matter experts in five states within federal region VI (AR, LA, NM, OK, and TX) to discuss and drill children's preparedness strategies. This exercise aimed to enhance pediatric preparedness through strategic collaboration and discussion. See the Meeting Proceedings and the Executive Summary.
Results from a follow-up survey revealed that public health officials may not be aware of pediatric resources in their communities and pediatricians may not know how to navigate the public health system. The tabletop exercise helped to close this gap and showed the mutual benefit from this type of collaboration. Ninety-five percent of participants stated the exercise helped build relationships with participants outside of their agency or area of expertise.
The AAP and CDC conducted follow-up to the Pediatric and Public Health Tabletop Exercise at 1, 3, and 6 months post-exercise. Results reinforced the need for pediatric and public health leaders to collaborate in preparedness efforts. The AAP is working with the CDC to develop a virtual exercise, so all states can benefit from these experiences.
Children’s Hospitals and Preparedness
The AAP is working to facilitate discussions among pediatric stakeholders about strategies to improve preparedness planning within and among children’s hospitals. As a result, the AAP created the Children’s Hospitals and Preparedness webinar series.
Caring for Children with Congenital Zika Virus: Building Community Support
This webinar provided information on how the Children’s National Health System Congenital Zika Program addressed care coordination for children with Zika virus. An archived version of the webinar and the PowerPoint slides are available.
Say What? The Ins and Outs of Communicating in a Disaster
This webinar described lessons learned and best practices for internal and external communications among children’s hospitals and external partners in an emergency situation. An archived version of the webinar and the PowerPoint slides are available.
Emergency Preparedness in the NICU
This webinar discussed key issues in preparing to respond to a disaster that affects the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and presented case studies and best practices that can help you and your colleagues to prepare. An archived version of the webinar and the PowerPoint slides are available.
Future webinars are being planned and will potentially focus on topics identified by members who work in children’s hospitals such as disaster preparedness in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, case studies on day-to-day issues in children’s hospital emergency departments, reunification planning, and preparing for disasters related to children and youth with special health care needs.
The AAP receives funding through a cooperative agreement with the CDC to coordinate this project, which includes a collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to improve response coordination and offer increased support to health care providers and patients impacted by the Zika virus. The AAP also received funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services Maternal and Child Health Bureau to implement AAP Project ECHO® Zika. The AAP will use the Project ECHO® telementoring model to connect experts with primary care providers in the US and Puerto Rico, creating a network of trained providers. See the AAP News article. International outreach is under consideration.
In July 2016, the CDC sponsored a meeting in collaboration with the AAP titled "Clinical Evaluation and Management of Infants with Congenital Zika Virus Infection". The purpose of the meeting was to bring together a variety of pediatric subject matter experts, professional organizations, federal partners, and family advocates to compile individual expert input regarding evaluation and management of infants with evidence of congenital Zika virus infection. As a result, the CDC produced guidance, "Update: Interim Guidance for the Evaluation and Management of Infants with Possible Congenital Zika Virus Infection - United States, August 2016".
The AAP also developed a resource page to highlight important information for clinicians.
AAP Family Readiness Kit
The AAP revised its Family Readiness Kit, first produced in 2006. The purpose of the kit is to assist families to become disaster-ready. Pediatricians can share this kit during routine office visits as a way to encourage families to plan for emergencies.
Emergency Medical Services for Children Innovation and Improvement Center
The AAP is partnering with the Baylor College of Medicine to implement the Emergency Medical Services for Children Innovation and Improvement Center (EIIC). Project activities include:
- Serving as a point of contact for EIIC inquiries specific to AAP activities related to disaster preparedness and pediatric emergency medicine.
- Supporting EIIC needs assessments/research and development of educational tools and web-based technologies specific to quality improvement and the National Pediatric Readiness Project by identifying subject matter experts, providing guidance on potential applications to AAP for development of an EQIPP module and/or MOC Part 4 project, reviewing draft materials, and promoting EIIC surveys and work products as appropriate.
- Developing a system of recognition for National Pediatric Readiness Project experts and high functioning facilities.
- Helping to establish networks of champions with a focus on pediatric readiness.
- Assessing the extent to which pediatricians (eg, pediatric subject matter experts, Chapter Contacts for Disaster Preparedness) are involved in EMSC state partnership activities.