Multidisciplinary Leadership Development for All Hazards Preparedness: Building Capacity While Improving Health
Elenberg, Kimberly Jill
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(41st Biennial Convention) Multidisciplinary Leadership Development for All Hazards Preparedness: Building capacity while improving health Purpose:� The Office of Force Readiness and Deployment (OFRD) in the Office of the Surgeon General is tasked with building, monitoring, and maintaining readiness capacity for the United State Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps.�The USPHS is the nation's only full-time cadre of public health and medical providers. Officers are expected to be available and prepared for rapid deployment in response to domestic and international hazards. However, many officers have limited or infrequent experience in applying leadership skills in disaster settings that are planned and executed by a disaster management coordinators, including but not limited to the federal government, foreign host governments, health organizations, and non-governmental partners. Traditional training techniques (eg. lectures, seminars, etc.) have shown limited efficacy as a training tool for adults. This has led to the evaluation and integration of applied leadership training as an alternative instructional design methodology for the development of advanced leadership techniques. Methods: In 2010, OFRD implemented Operation Nexus, an innovative training strategy focused on preparing the Commissioned Corps for the next complex public health emergency. Developing global health leaders for the future, Operation Nexus brought the USPHS Commission Corps into underserved rural and urban communities. Officers developed leadership skills by working in synergy with community stakeholders while medical and public health teams carried out local health and human service projects. Results: Participant observations were used to assess leadership skills, pre-deployment planning for delivery of rural healthcare, the perception of cultural competency, teamwork and communication, establishment and management of command and coordination with local officials.� Conclusion: Innovative training improved the Corps capability to respond effectively alongside local public health partners.�Training for 2011 includes plans for expanding joint operation leadership development with the Department of Defense and the Mexican government.