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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Workshop Summary

Health and Social Services Recovery Workshop

The purpose of this workshop is to convene a meeting of stakeholders across levels of government and non-government to discuss systematic approaches to recovery, identify gaps or challenges from recent experience, and promote promising practices in an effort to establish a national dialogue for the health and social services emergency management community. Workshop attendees represent various interests and stakeholders across the health, healthcare and social service delivery continuum, emergency managers within the disaster environment and research scientists identifying key themes and important considerations following disaster incidents. Key objectives of the workshop include the following:

  • Provide an overview of the focus and intent of Health and Social Services (H&SS) Recovery Support Function (RSF) within the scope of National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) activations and exercises to promote shared understanding of core principles and desired outcomes.
  • Share local, state, federal lessons learned from NDRF activations (2012-2013) across perspectives and identify any key challenges or gaps within expectations, roles and responsibilities and/or communication & coordination.
  • Identify opportunities to improve HSS operations for future disaster recovery operations.
  • Identify opportunities to develop strategies for appropriate communication, collaboration and information sharing channels across levels of government and non-government partners.
  • Facilitate discussion on key elements for pre-disaster plan development.
  • Provide information on current recovery research science community and identify opportunities for future investigation.

Proceedings will be structured with plenary sessions designed to set the tone for the conversations and provide insight on different perspectives from prior disaster or planning experience and critical topic areas within health and social services recovery. They will also be utilized as the venue for reporting out on key issue areas identified in the small working group sessions. The plenary sessions will be followed by small working groups separated into the following four mission areas:

  1. healthcare
  2. behavioral health
  3. public health and environmental health & safety
  4. social/human services and early childhood education coordination.

These small group sessions are designed to discuss core planning processes, key resource supports (or needs), explain functions or services, and highlight topics and/or opportunities for additional review or consideration.

Each day of the workshop will have a specific focus area to hone in on the various aspects of disaster recovery within the health and social services sectors. The first day is designed to establish a shared baseline level of knowledge amongst attendees and identify key disaster recovery themes from the experiences of state and local partners. The second day is designed to engage the topic of the recovery planning process (both pre and post-disaster) while highlighting strategies for theme identification, consensus building and, ultimately, exercising or implementing a recovery plan. The final day is dedicated to understanding common recovery challenge areas and, particularly, highlighting the current research science of recovery and identifying a path forward.

Following the workshop, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in conjunction with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) will be developing a workshop summary including summaries from the plenary sessions, significant findings from the working groups, and key recommendations for additional planning consideration, tool development or future research.

  • This page last reviewed: February 25, 2015