As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies, it has become clear that Maternal and Child Health (MCH) populations, including people of reproductive age, pregnant and birthing people, and infants and young children, must be prioritized in the development of emergency trainings, exercises, plans, and responses. To support this effort, NACCHO, with funding from CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health, launched a Virtual Learning Collaborative (VLC) to increase collaboration among MCH and Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) colleagues within local health departments (LHDs).
The VLC was guided by the HHS Maternal-Child Emergency Planning Toolkit with the goal of helping LHDs identify strategies to strengthen their capacity to prioritize MCH populations in emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities. Members also had the opportunity to share resources and ideas and connect with other VLC members.
This year, the VLC convened eight LHDs comprised of one MCH and one EPR staff from each institution:
- Austin Public Health (TX)
- City of Minneapolis Health Department (MN)
- Kent County Public Health (MI)
- Onslow County Health Department (NC)
- Pitt County Health Department (NC)
- Tarrant County Public Health (TX)
- Vermont Department of Health (VT)
- Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (MI)
Over the course of the project year, NACCHO partnered with Health Communications Consultants (HCC) to help address gaps at LHDs through training, technical assistance, and materials to increase knowledge of MCH priorities among EPR personnel and train MCH personnel to engage in preparedness activities. HCC offered three virtual trainings and an in-person tabletop exercise at the 2022 NACCHO Preparedness Summit. They also facilitated evaluations and pre- and post-assessments for each training, and compiled the findings into comprehensive reports.
Below is an infographic that provides an overview of the work completed and key outcomes of the project.
NACCHO hopes to continue to offer this opportunity to strengthen collaboration between MCH and EPR in the future. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Hitomi Abe (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Emily Boyle (email@example.com).