Public health communications professionals from around the country honored a joint effort by the University of Washington and Public Health – Seattle & King County to prepare public health workers and people in related fields to get emergency information out to the general public quickly and effectively.
?Emergency Risk Communication for Public Health Professionals,? an online training course developed by the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine, received the 2006 Gold Award for Excellence in Public Health Communication from the National Public Health Information Coalition last week.
As a feature of the training, the UW team worked with Public Health ? Seattle & King County to develop an interactive simulation of a flu pandemic. The innovative use of video, audio, and online technologies?combined with a realistic scenario?creates a virtual experience that prepares public health communicators for the stress of an actual emergency.
?We?re pleased to receive this recognition for the outreach we?ve been doing on emergency preparedness,? noted Mark Oberle, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice at the UW?s School of Public Health and Community Medicine. ?Effective responses to public health emergencies require strong collaborations, and this partnership with Public Health ? Seattle & King County is a fine example of that.?
“In times of crisis, people need timely, accurate and appropriate information to make the best possible decisions for their health,? said King County Executive Ron Sims. “This award recognizes our innovative work with the University of Washington in readying health professionals for effective emergency communications.”
Funding for the training course was provided from a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, with additional support from the National Association of County and City Health Officials through an Advanced Practice Center grant.