About the Theme: When Crisis is Commonplace: Transforming Your Community’s Public Health Preparedness Practices
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic became a public health emergency in January 2020, our public health preparedness and response mechanisms have been tested in extraordinary ways. Not only has this response lasted longer than others we have faced — from H1N1 to Zika virus disease — we are managing it while balancing our day-to-day public health practice and preparing for and responding to a range of other threats such as extreme weather and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear events.
As crisis has become commonplace, this need for simultaneous and multipronged response has stretched our infrastructure and our personal capacity. We have pushed our preparedness plans and deployment capabilities as far as they will go, and now we must strategize new and transform existing approaches that better equip us for future events. That’s why this year’s theme, When Crisis is Commonplace: Transforming Your Community’s Public Health Preparedness Practices, will focus on how we must adapt our preparedness and response infrastructure to this reality and will highlight tools, resources, and policies that enable us to meet the many challenges we as public health professionals continue to face every day.
By bringing our experiences to the forefront, we can evaluate our preparedness and response efforts to date, recognize changes and trends in how we respond, and realize opportunities to grow and adapt our public health preparedness practices.
About the Preparedness Summit
The Preparedness Summit is the first and longest running national conference on public health preparedness. Since its beginning in 2006, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has taken a leadership role in convening a wide array of partners to participate in the Summit; presenting new research findings, sharing tools and resources, and providing a variety of opportunities for attendees to learn how to implement model practices that enhance the nation’s capabilities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and other emergencies.
Over the last decade, the nature of threats to our national health security have changed significantly. As professionals in the public health preparedness space, we can expect these threats to continue to evolve. It is imperative that we adapt our public health practices to meet the demands of an ever-evolving threat environment. But how do we, as preparedness leaders, help our communities become more prepared to respond to and recover from uncharted catastrophic events? We can start doing so by discovering new and creative solutions to address events like pandemic diseases, the opioid crisis, active shooter emergencies, and cybersecurity threats.
Each year, the Preparedness Summit will feature experts from the healthcare and emergency management fields in addition to public health preparedness professionals to address the gaps between these life-saving industries in an effort to work more collaboratively and efficiently in the face of emerging threats. Reaching across these sectors will leverage diversity of thought and advance the capacity of our communities to respond to and recover from emergency events. We hope that this conference will provide an opportunity to build stronger partnerships and encourage us to find innovative solutions with our allies.