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 the theme of the 2021 Preparedness Summit is When Crisis is Commonplace: Transforming Your Community’s Public Health Preparedness Practices.
From April 12-15, 2021 (Atlanta, GA), the conference will convene more than 1,900 attendees to 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.
The abstract submission period is open through October 31, 2020 (11:59pm PT). This year’s Summit Planning Committee invites public health, healthcare, disaster relief, emergency management, and other professionals nationwide to showcase and share their research findings, best practice training models, tools, or other resources that advance the field of public health and healthcare preparedness and response.