Resham Patel has worked in preparedness for about 12 years, the last eight of which have been with Public Health – Seattle & King County. As Organizational Preparedness & Evaluation Manager, Patel works in the preparedness section with a focus on training, exercises, evaluation, and improvement.
Patel was first involved with Project Public Health Ready (PPHR), a criteria-based training and recognition program that assesses local health department (LHD) capacity and capability to plan for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies, as a member of NACCHO’s Preparedness Team. Since then, they have served several times as a PPHR National Reviewer and as a member of NACCHO’s Preparedness Planning, Outcomes, and Measurement (PPOM) Workgroup. This workgroup helps to ensure that local health staff are shaping the standards of PPHR.
NACCHO recruits and trains National Reviewers from across the country to assess each application’s level of compliance with PPHR criteria. As part of the intensive 18-month program, teams of two-to-three reviewers evaluate up to three PPHR applications from September through December with one in-person meeting to conduct a team review.
“Serving as a reviewer has been eye-opening,” said Patel. “You see new and evolving standards and how preparedness is changing in the future.”
“On a personal level, it’s always great to see what’s out there—what practices are being implemented across the country,” said Patel. “There’s always something that can help inform our work in our own jurisdiction. This gives you a lens to think critically about your own plans.”
In addition to the more practical aspects of the role of a National Reviewer, Patel enjoys being part of the PPHR community, supporting other local health departments, learning, and giving back—“it’s also kind of fun.”
“PPHR brings together very talented people who want to share best practices and learn from each other,” said Patel. “I continue to have conversations and partnership within the national network.”
Patel encourages those who think about preparedness plans and training to get looped in to PPHR.
“If you’ve never been a reviewer, it’s a cool experience,” said Patel. “It exposes you to plans, lets you contribute back to the community, and keeps relationships going.”
Through June 30 PPHR is recruiting national reviewers for applicants seeking recognition in 2023. Learn about the benefits of participating and how to get involved.