UNDERSTANDING THE PUBLIC HEALTH WORKFORCE ACTIVATION PLANNING MODEL
The Public Health Seattle & King County Public Health Workforce Activation Planning Model was structured around six primary focus areas. These are:
- Overall emergency preparedness strategy
- Surge response, business continuity and workforce assessment
- Training requirements of workforce activation
- The workforce activation and call out process
- Internal and external communications related to workforce activation
- Ongoing evaluation and improvement.
Following this model allowed our team to take on the monumental task of building a Public Health Workforce Activation Response Plan by segmenting our approach. It helped organize our efforts and made the task at hand more accessible.
Key Planning Principles
Planning for the wide range of potential response measures necessary for workforce redeployment is challenging. The following planning principles were a helpful foundation for our Public Health Workforce Activation planning process. The initial planning principles included:
- Public Health cannot take on emergency response roles that do not fit into its expertise.
- Public Health employees are notified of the potential of job reassignment during an emergency through appropriate communication channels.
- All divisional constituents are consulted prior to the finalization of preparedness response plans.
- Principles of National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) Incident Command System (ICS) are considered during the planning process.
Why a Public Health Workforce Activation Response Plan?
The success of any emergency response will depend on how speedily and effectively a public health department can redeploy human resources. Re-deployed personnel will staff surge response teams and ensure the continuity of essential departmental functions. Re-deployed staff should participate on pre-defined emergency response teams for which they are properly trained. Public Health Workforce Activation planning enables an organization to define surge response conditions, develop surge response teams , define activation and call-out processes as well as establish training and communications systems. This will enable any department to effectively "sort and shift" available personnel in times of emergency.