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Carol Davis Dissertation 2021.pdf (2.72 MB)

Collaboration between Public Health Preparedness and Infectious Disease Epidemiology: An Exploration of Current Practices and Opportunities in Texas

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posted on 2024-03-16, 04:47 authored by Melissa PostlethwaitMelissa Postlethwait, Carol Davis

Public health preparedness (PHEP) unit and infectious disease epidemiology (IDEpi) unit functions
are important for the mission of health departments to protect the public’s health. IDEpi prevents
and controls the spread of infectious diseases. PHEP protects communities from and mitigates
negative health consequences of natural and man-made disasters including infectious disease health
emergencies. Both are interdependent units within local health departments that have overlapping
programmatic and departmental goals.


The nature of how PHEP and IDEpi units interact and work together within a health department
changes in response to external events. During a crisis, response pressures and structures facilitate
intra-organizational coordination to achieve response goals. While both units work together as a
team to effectively respond to public health emergencies, each group typically returns to normal
operations, functioning as independent units once the event ends or the threat is reduced. It is
unclear to what extent coordination and collaboration continue outside of a response. An ongoing
relationship conducive to coordination and collaboration is needed for effective and efficient
achievement of programmatic and departmental public health goals outside of a crisis. The
relationship between the two units also affects readiness, defined as the capacity for an efficient
transition from routine to response operations, for coordination during a response.

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