The Institute was awarded a grant by the Texas Department of Health
to develop two training programs for public health leadership in
disaster response. One program will focus on enhancing public health
agency/system preparedness and the other will focus on building
an effective community wide response. The project began on February
2nd, 2004 and is projected to be completed by March 31st, 2005.
Leadership in Disaster Response training is a major initiative
being undertaken to build and/or enhance leadership capacity throughout
Texas' local and regional public health system. The initial conceptual
design was based on issues identified in answer to demands being
made on the system and gaps that have been identified based on past
performance as well as knowledge of the mechanisms that best support
the further development of both the skills and the mindset to respond
to bioterrorism threats.
Specific system wide competencies will be addressed in this project,
including: decision-making and delegation; day-to-day operations
versus emergency response; overcoming political and organizational
barriers; evaluating preparedness; responding to development issues
identified by the evaluation; and, dealing with future challenges
not known to specialists in disaster preparedness at the time of
this training. This will form a "baseline" of skills for
the State of Texas from which future initiatives can be launched.