The mission of the Center for Public Health Readiness & Communication (CPHRC) is to enhance community resilience and the ability of health professionals, emergency managers, and public safety officials to meet the needs of all communities in times of disaster and public health emergency. In keeping with the School’s commitment to health and human rights, the CPHRC has an applied focus on serving marginalized, vulnerable, and hard-to-reach populations. More About Us...
2013 Public Health Preparedness Summit
The Center for Public Health Readiness and Communication (CPHRC) participated in the 2013 Public Health Preparedness Summit in Atlanta, GA from March 12 – 15. The summit is a national conference of public health officials from state and local governments, academicians, emergency management agencies and other stakeholders who work in the field of public health and healthcare system preparedness. The conference is sponsored by the National Association of County and City Health Officials, in partnership with CDC, ASTHO, ASPH, FDA, CSTE, ASPR, and APHL.
The Center had four presentations during the conference:
Rachel Peters (Drexel MPH 2008), Research Associate at CPHRC, and Esther Chernak, MD, MPH, Director of the CPHRC, led a workshop for 100 participants on public health risk assessment, in which they presented a tool the Center developed for use in Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic states. The risk assessment tool integrates the impact of disasters on at-risk populations into both risk assessment and planning.
Tom Hipper, Public Health Planner at CPHRC, and Esther Chernak, gave a presentation on “Integrating Community Pediatricians into Public Health Preparedness Planning,” at a session devoted to Creating Partnerships for Pediatric Preparedness.
Ashley Kenworthy Orr (Drexel MPH 2012), Tom Hipper, and Esther Chernak presented a poster on “Integrating Human Service Agencies into Emergency Preparedness and Response: Findings from a Survey of Agencies in Southeastern Pennsylvania.”
Hilary Kricun, CHPRC Program Manager, Tom Hipper, Rachel Peters, and Esther Chernak presented a poster “Preparing for the Public Health Consequences of Disasters – The Drexel University Planning Aid.” The presentation profiled a handbook that CPHRC developed for public health and healthcare professionals to assist them with responding to and planning for disasters with public health consequences.
CPHRC Project Updates
The CPHRC has completed several projects related to public health emergency preparedness and community resilience. For more information on the specific projects, click HERE.
In the News:
Anhydrous Ammonia as a HAZMAT Concern
Following the explosion of a Texas fertilizer plant, experts are discussing the potential consequences should future fires and/or explosions yield a release of on-site hazardous materials. Anhydrous ammonia, a chemical used in the production of fertilizer, is a highly toxic gas that can cause serious physical side effects if inhaled. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry and Emergency Response Safety and Health Database provide information on the exposure routes and physical side effects of ammonia exposure.
The recent discovery of the biological agent ricin in letters to President Obama and U.S. Senator Roger Wicker has raised questions about the properties and mechanisms of action involved in ricin poisoning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Library of Medicine provide informational resources on ricin to be used by medical personnel, first responders, and the general public.
Boston Marathon Bombing: UK Story Reveals Details
This article out of a British news agency provides a detailed report of the Boston Marathon bombing, along with informative maps, photos and diagrams of the incident. Read more
Multi-state E. coli Outbreak Linked to Frozen Food Sickens 24
15 states have reported cases of E. coli infection that have been linked to frozen food snacks produced by Farm Rich products, a New York based company. Read more
FDA Approves the First Botulism Antitoxin Drug
The FDA has recently approved the first drug to treat botulism, a life-threatening disease that is often linked to improperly canned foods. It will be added to the Strategic National Stockpile. Read more
County Health Rankings for States
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released the annual health rankings for each state, organized by individual counties. To find out county-specific health information, click here.
Contaminated Drugs From a N.J Pharmacy Cause Concern
A compounding pharmacy in New Jersey issued a voluntary recall of all of its drugs due to a reported fungus found in one shipment of drugs to a hospital in Connecticut. The same drug was shipped to at least 4 other states. Read more
New Vaccine Recommendations for 2013
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued updated guidance on vaccine recommendations. Read more
The Burden of Norovirus: A Wyoming Outbreak
Chances are, persons who have had a gastrointestinal illness have had a norovirus. Also popularly known as the "stomach flu" or the "winter vomiting virus", noroviruses can strike anyone at any time but are especially prevalent during the cold weather months. The circulation of a new strain of norovirus has been responsible for widespread outbreaks of this gastrointestinal illness, including an outbreak linked to a Wyoming buffet restaurant in December, 2012. Read more
New Threat of Highly Drug Resistant Malaria in Thailand: Cause for Concern
According to the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit at Mahidol University in Thailand, there has been an increasing number of patients infected with a strain of malaria that does not respond well to artemisinin. Researchers believe it is only a matter of time before this bacteria becomes fully resistant to the drug. Artemisinin is the first line treatment for malaria throught the world. Read more
For more public health preparedness news, click HERE.