PA community-based preparedness program lauded for best public engagement
| 04.04.2007 | 06:45:39 | Views: 2901 | ID:
April 4 '07: A federally-funded report compiled by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Center for Biodiversity found that a local Pennsylvania community-based civic engagement plan designed to prepare the community for pandemic response was the most effective route to mitigating an outbreak of disease, the Tribune Review reported.
At heart is a program called the Healthy Black Family Project, run by the Center for Minority Health at the Graduate School at UPMC. Using community outreach, Director Stephen Thomas said health officials at UMPC were able to connect with more than 6,000 people in Allegheny County, PA with just one phone call."It was a smashing success," Thomas told the Tribune Review. Furthermore, Monica Schoch-Spana, a co-author of the report said civic engagement of the kind in Allegheny County was essential: "Many years post 9/11, there's a call for enhanced citizen preparedness and national polls continue to say Americans aren't prepared." Among the findings in the report, civic engagement can create valuable inroads to communities by utilizing pre-existing social networks for communication, resource and supply delivery and rescue activities. Also, community leaders will have the trust of their residents who would be more inclined to take directions from locals instead of a state or federal director.
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