Public health agencies face a serious workforce crisis: an aging workforce with no sign of backfill, continued employee attrition, and concurrent budget cuts with increasing mandates leaving workers with a “do more with less” mantra. These challenges act synergistically to directly impact the staff’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities, causing a chronic loss of staff morale, and ultimately a loss of institutional memory. Passing on experiential knowledge and wisdom may be an effective method of empowering health department staff to think creatively, foster collaboration and leadership, and improve the efficiency of day-to-day operations. This research videography project aimed to preserve the institutional memory of, and forever capture, the universal pieces of wisdom of 10 current and former New York metropolitan-area health department employees with over 250 years of combined experience. These video-driven trainings serve to preserve the institutional memory of the health department by leveraging the undocumented knowledge, skills, experience, and expertise. Through an academic partnership, this study was collaboratively designed, implemented, and evaluated. Individual interviews were video-taped and qualitatively analyzed, using grounded theory, to capture emerging themes as a basis for a modular training package. Themes include cross-training, operations in crisis, the unexpected, and optimal communication. These public health pearls of wisdom are applicable to any health department and may offer a unique training tool to enable other health department staff to think and act creatively during a crisis, fiscal or emergent.
The goals of this training are to:
- To preserve the institutional memory and capture the wisdom of 10 current and former New York metropolitan-area health department employees with over 250 years of combined experience.
- To enable other health department staff to use these 'pearls of wisdom' to think and act creatively during a crisis, fiscal or emergent.
- Practice and implement Incident Command System (ICS) regularly.
- Proactively build trust in the community.
- Create a flexible and stimulating work environment.
- Never stop learning.
- Promote and practice effective two-way communication.
- Respect and acknowledge the power of Public Health Law.
- Lead to inspire, aspire to lead.
- Create viable, credible, and sustainable partnerships.
- Build, develop, and maintain trustworthy and credible relationships.
- Be ultra-prepared.
Public Health Emergency Preparedness Capabilities:
- Community Resilience
- Countermeasures and Mitigation
Medical Countermeasure Dispensing
Responder Safety and Health
- Incident Management
Emergency Operations Coordination
- Information Management
Emergency Public Information and Warning
- Surge Management
Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (CDC):
- 1.1 Solve problems under emergency conditions.
- 1.2 Manage behaviors associated with emotional responses in self and others.
- 1.3 Facilitate collaboration with internal and external emergency response partners.
- 1.5 Demonstrate respect for all persons and cultures.
- 1.6 Act within the scope of one's legal authority.
- 2.1 Manage information related to an emergency.
- 2.2 Use principles of crisis and risk communication.
- 2.3 Report information potentially relevant to the identification and control of an emergency through the chain of command.
- 3.3 Participate in improving the organization’s capacities (Including, but not limited to programs, plans, policies, laws, and workforce training).
- 3.4 Refer matters outside of one's scope of legal authority through the chain of command.
- 4.1 Maintain personal/family emergency preparedness plans.
- 4.2 Employ protective behaviors according to changing conditions, personal limitations, and threats.
At the end of this course, you will be able to:
- Identify key stressors on the public health workforce
- Compare and contrast themes identified in this presentation with those experienced within the learners purview
- Describe the impact of fiscal crises on day-to-day and emergency operations in a local health department
- Formulate an individual plan to address internal workforce morale issues
- Practice and implement Incident Command System (ICS) regularly
- Proactively build trust in the community
- Create a flexible and stimulating work environment
- Never stop learning
- Promote and practice effective two-way communication
- Respect and acknowledge the power of Public Health Law
- Lead to inspire, aspire to lead
- Create viable, credible, and sustainable partnerships
- Build, develop, and maintain trustworthy and credible relationships
- Be Ultra-Prepared
- Conclusion | Be Prepared for the Unexpected: Preserving memory and taking action
- Satisfaction Survey
- Be Prepared for the Unexpected: Public Health Pearls of Wisdom Video Training