The PHP also facilitates communications between local health providers, the State of Idaho, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These communications are maintained via a Health Alert Network (HAN) which is an infrastructure of secure Internet connections, fax machines and satellite connections. The HAN makes rapid dissemination of important public health information and alerts possible.
Public Information and Risk Communication
It is the policy of Public Health Preparedness to keep the public informed concerning health issues. Information is regularly distributed to the media, health professionals, and the public through news releases, public service announcements, e-mail, fax, and letters.
Public Health Preparedness has developed an "All Hazards" Risk Communications Plan that will keep the public informed during a public health emergency. The plan includes various ways to provide consistent information to the media and public through:
- Public Service Announcements
- Coordinated messaging
- District 6 Regional Public Information Officer group
- Media partnerships
Education and Training
The PHP program is continuously updating training resources that can be used to educate Health Department employees, medical professionals and the public. Education programs are also supplied by the State and CDC via webcast and satellite broadcasts. These educational materials play a critical role in preparing for public health emergencies.
- Creation of various training materials including disaster desktop exercises.
- Creation of a training library for emergency preparedness and response materials.
Southeastern Idaho Public Health (SIPH) conducts health preparedness training that encompasses many organizational levels throughout the agency and the region. We conduct this training to help prepare our staff, and response partners, for a variety of circumstances that may require jurisdiction-wide emergency response measures.
SIPH has an Initial Response Team that regularly participates in Incident Command training. This training includes both an overview of the Incident Command System (ICS) and practice of ICS roles through tabletop, functional, and full-scale emergency preparedness exercises. Following an "all-hazards" approach, SIPH implements this, and other related training to SIPH employees. The all-hazards approach is preferable, since our response to most incidents would be similar, whether it involves earthquakes, flood, a naturally-occurring disease outbreak, or a biological attack. SIPH also encourages and provides opportunities for staff to expand their preparedness skills by attending external trainings at the state, regional, and national level.
Upon request, SIPH provides training to our local hospitals on the Hospital Emergency Incident Command System (HEICS). This course generally includes an introduction to the ICS structure for hospitals and a tabletop exercise that is tailored to the rural nature of Southeast Idaho. In addition to providing training events, SIPH partners with local hospitals, emergency services, law enforcement, Homeland Security, private industry, and others to plan for timely, appropriate, and well-coordinated responses to public health emergencies.
In addition to the above, SIPH conducts training for our volunteer Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) on various topics, including smallpox vaccination, Strategic National Stockpile, and other preparedness-related topics.
Located in our submenu on the top under "Training Websites", you will find links to recommended self-study courses that have been developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These courses are especially relevant to organizations and individuals that are interested in learning more about emergency preparedness and response: