National Library of Medicine selects El Paso for project
El Paso — Whether it is a mass shooting like the one in Washington, D.C. or the recent flooding in parts of El Paso County, the need for preparedness and emergency response plans is critical. That’s why the City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is pleased to announce that it has received a grant award from the National Library of Medicine to enhance access to health and emergency preparedness information in El Paso County, Texas. The DPH is one of three organizations selected to receive funding to implement their “Disaster Health Information and Collaboration Project 2013”.
In an effort to increase awareness and skills in community emergency preparedness and increase access to information, the DPH, in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Regional Office of the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), will bring together key community players, including local librarians, community health workers, special populations, health care providers, and community emergency first responders.
“During a disaster or a city-wide emergency there is never a shortage in people representing various agencies who step up offering their assistance. These funds will be used to ensure effective collaboration between planners, first responders, and other leaders before and during community emergencies," said Angela Mora, Public Health Deputy Director.
The program aims to:
1. Enhance the knowledge of librarians, special-population healthcare providers, and Community Health Workers (CHWs) on the functional role local emergency and disaster organizations play, and help them develop skills to participate and assist in emergency and/or disaster events.
2. Increase awareness regarding local practices and methods of information sharing, including the use of the 2-1-1 Texas 24/7 Information and Referral system, 911, the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR), and PAHO’s virtual library.
3. Bolster the existing capabilities of the DPH and PAHO/WHO to provide fast and easy access to accurate, evidenced-based information to librarians, CHWs, healthcare agencies serving special populations and their workforce.
4. Work collaboratively with Red Cross, City of El Paso Office of Emergency Management, Texas Department of Public Safety-Emergency Preparedness, and other first responders to develop unique cross training opportunities for librarians, healthcare providers, lay CHW and first responders.
Other award recipients include the Pacific Resources for Education and Learning in Pago Pago, American Samoa, and the Texas Health Fort Worth Medical Library, Fort Worth, TX. For more information on the National Library of Medicine, please visit: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/.