The Texas A&M Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (PERLC) has a strong working relationship with both its state partners: the Texas Department of State Health Services and the South Dakota Department of Health. Recently the Center has been working with both state health departments on two very unique and specific partner requested activities, providing expertise and resources to assist in public health preparedness planning, response, and recovery within each state.
To integrate a systematic mitigation planning process for public health preparedness in Texas, the Department of State Health Services Community Preparedness Section contracted with the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health (SPH) to develop a strategic plan for a mitigation planning process. This strategic plan was developed through a series of meetings, email communications, individual discussions, and an online survey. From these interactions, required elements, integration steps, and a timeline were identified to achieve the vision for the process. Beginning next month, SPH will assist the Preparedness Section in the implementation of these strategies statewide through a multi-year process involving state, regional, and local partners.
In South Dakota, Texas A&M PERLC continues to assist the state health department by providing expertise and resources to Sioux Tribes located within the state. This month, staff will travel to three reservations in South Dakota to facilitate discussion among tribal leaders about public health preparedness planning, with an emphasis on the importance and role of community leaders in preparedness planning for a public health emergency.