The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) and the Pew Center on the States (PCS) launched Public Health Practices in 2006 as "Promising Practices: Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Tools." The project was conceived in conjunction with, and initially funded by, The Pew Charitable Trusts. Since 2008, Public Health Practices has been a partnership with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). ASTHO is the national non-profit organization representing the 57 state and territorial public health agencies of the United States, US territories, and the District of Columbia.
The project was initially founded to identify and share promising practices in pandemic influenza preparedness across the United States. Its goals were to enhance response to public health emergencies, save time, and conserve valuable resources by making the excellent preparedness work of public health agencies available to all in a one-stop shop.
Public Health Practices was originally developed to share practices related to pandemic influenza preparedness. In May 2011, CIDRAP and ASTHO joined in partnership to expand the site to include many additional topics in emergency response. Currently, the site features practices related to At-Risk Populations, Behavioral Health, Bioterrorism, Chemical Emergencies, Healthcare System Preparedness, Natural Disasters, Outbreaks and Emerging Issues, Pandemic Influenza, and Radiation Emergencies.
For more information on the ways in which the project has evolved to meet changing needs and resources in public health preparedness and response, please take a moment to read through the timeline below.
- September 2007: CIDRAP and PCS launch "Promising Practices in Pandemic Influenza Preparedness" with the assistance of an Advisory Committee and a group of Expert Reviewers. Practices initially posted on the site came from a nationwide search of public health agencies, public health conferences, key actor interviews, and a survey distributed to several professional organizations.
- January-August 2008: Staff from CIDRAP and ASTHO co-author "At-Risk Populations and Pandemic Influenza: Guidance for State, Territorial, Tribal, and Local Health Departments." As part of this process, staff collected practices specifically geared toward the preparedness needs of at-risk populations. Practices came from work group conversations, community engagement meetings, and field research.
- April 2009-May 2010: Following the emergence of the novel H1N1 pandemic, CIDRAP and ASTHO collect and post stories about response efforts on the Public Health Practices Web site.
- June-October 2010: CIDRAP conducts interviews and an online conference on H1N1 response in academic settings with staff from the Big 10+2 universities (view Webinar). This outreach effort yielded practices related to prevention of H1N1 in residence halls and creation of on-campus mass vaccination clinics, among other topics. CIDRAP concurrently published the report: "H1N1 & Higher Ed Lessons Learned: Pandemic Influenza Tools, Tips, and Takeaways from the Big 10+2 Universities."
- May 2011-Current: Public Health Practices expands to include other relevant areas of public health emergency preparedness and disaster response. New categories include practices related to natural disasters, radiation emergencies, healthcare system preparedness, chemical emergencies, and bioterrorism.