State Preparedness

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‚ÄčAmerican Academy of Pediatrics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
State Preparedness Project Overview


Background Information
As part of its collaborative work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Children's Preparedness Unit, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offered a funding opportunity to AAP chapters, states or regions to support implementation of state-level activities designed to improve pediatric infectious disease and natural disaster emergency preparedness. 6 AAP chapters and 1 AAP district were approved to receive support in 2017. A summary of each of these projects is provided below. The funding announcement was included in the November 2017 Children & Disasters newsletter!

Project Descriptions

Arizona AAP Chapter

The Arizona AAP chapter utilized the funding to expand the disaster preparedness and readiness of Arizona hospitals within their Pediatric Prepared Emergency Care program. This is a voluntary program recognizing hospitals that have demonstrated their ability to stabilize and/or manage pediatric medical emergencies. The Arizona AAP chapter organized and presented a one-day Pediatric Disaster Preparedness Conference. The conference included both national and local speakers, who presented on topics including:

  1. The importance of pre-planning in the creation of a robust and effective all-hazards preparedness plan,

  2. The importance of defining and developing statewide emergency and disaster coalitions, and

  3. Recognizing how the loss of technology resources can affect the preparedness of a facility.

AAP District IX in California

The AAP District IX collaborated on regional projects to educate and prepare pediatricians for disasters and/or emergencies across the state. Each of the 4 California-based chapters hosted continuing medical education (CME) seminars and other activities to share information regarding available resources for specific regional disasters. The target audience for these opportunities included pediatricians, other health care providers, school health professionals, and state and community stakeholders.

Maryland AAP Chapter

The Maryland AAP chapter conducted a needs assessment to identify the needs of pediatricians within the state of Maryland specific to disaster preparedness. Specific attention to the health care providers practicing on the Eastern Shore was provided as a pilot to highlight pediatricians' needs in that region. The methodology for this project was qualitative through focus groups and the use of a survey tool. The goal of the survey was to elicit individual pediatrician's current policies and practices for disasters and disaster preparedness as well as to identify specific concerns and unmet needs of those pediatricians. Ultimately, this project aimed to identify pediatrician disaster preparedness perspectives and needs as well as opportunities for education, collaboration, and resources in the event of pediatric disasters and emergencies. The results showed that the surveyed pediatric health care providers in Maryland have concerns about their ability to provide life-saving care in the face of a disaster due to lack of resources including pediatric-specific equipment and a specialist workforce.

Massachusetts AAP Chapter

Building on AAP national efforts to discuss hospital family reunification planning, the Massachusetts AAP chapter produced the Family Reunification Following Disasters: A Planning Tool for Health Care Facilities. The tool was vetted in 2 states (MA and MO) and pilot tested in 4 hospitals. A webinar was held in June 2018 to highlight the release of the tool. A Family Separation and Reunification in Disasters Web page was also created. This project will be highlighted during the 2018 National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness conference in a session titled, "Lessons Learned from Real and Simulated Pediatric Events: From Evacuation to Hurricane Recovery".

Michigan AAP Chapter

The Michigan AAP chapter conducted a Web-based tabletop exercise that aimed for each Regional Medical Coordination Center to self-assess its ability to manage a mass casualty incident which predominately involved pediatric patients. The goal of the exercise was to identify pediatric gaps and areas needing improvement. The exercise scenario was a bus accident in the region. All health care regions participated via conference call and using a web-based question and answer system. As a follow-up to the exercise, each region will provide a report of identified strengths, weaknesses, and their improvement plan. The Michigan AAP chapter will also provide resource information on hospital and pre-hospital pediatric topics to each region, participating hospital, and pre-hospital agency.

Minnesota AAP Chapter

The Minnesota AAP chapter and the Minnesota Department of Health collaborated to develop a Minnesota Pediatric Surge Education Curriculum. A total of 8 training webinars were held to reach professionals in both metropolitan and rural areas of the state. These trainings are archived online. 2 live CME/ Maintenance of Certification (MOC) sessions were held in May 2018 during the 2018 Hot Topics in Pediatrics Conference & Annual Meeting. 2 articles were also published in the November 2017 and February 2018 Minnesota Pediatrician newsletter.

Ohio AAP Chapter

The Ohio Pediatric Disaster Coalition held a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) disaster exercise in May 2018 to expand on the AAP clinical report, "Emergency Preparedness in Neonatal Intensive Care Units". Prior to the exercise, it was determined that Ohio-based AAP members expressed concerns regarding transportation, evacuation, and surge among the many aspects of caring for NICU patients, especially during a disaster. The purpose of this exercise was to better prepare Ohio hospitals for a disaster. This project will be highlighted during the 2018 National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness conference in a session titled, "Lessons Learned from Real and Simulated Pediatric Events: From Evacuation to Hurricane Recovery". 


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