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Strategic Goal 1

NHSS, 2023-2026 Implementation Plan

Strategic Goal 1 icon Strategic Goal 1:
Strengthen health care and public health systems to prepare for and respond to concurrent health emergencies, including those that arise from unknown threats

Prepared and resilient HPH systems are critical to respond to and recover from the adverse health effects of public health emergencies and disasters. These systems start at the community level, necessitating collaboration between trusted community leaders, SLTT and federal partners, the private sector, and the most vulnerable community members. HPH systems also require resilient physical infrastructure and a robust and prepared workforce to continue delivering care during and after public health emergencies and disasters. Additionally, a robust and coordinated public health response relies on effective public health communications and scientifically based decisions.

The NHSS identifies four objectives to strengthen HPH systems, with several desired outcomes and implementation actions for the next four years. 

Effective public health emergency response requires trusted relationships between health officials, community leaders, at-risk individuals, and underserved populations. This coordination can ensure the specific needs of each community are considered in preparedness activities, including post-disaster health care and social services.

Desired Outcomes: 

  • After action reviews of real-world emergency responses and/or structured exercises with federal and non-federal partners incorporate measures focused on community-level engagement and the equitability of response and recovery actions.
  • Federal and non-federal subject matter experts, including mental health and social services, develop updated guidance on strengthening community engagement and response and recovery equity. 

Federal Implementation Actions:

1.1.1  Incorporate applicable findings from after action reviews and health equity guidance with federal grants to enable SLTT partners to assess and strengthen protection of at-risk individuals and underserved communities during public health emergencies and disasters.

1.1.2  Convene federal and non-federal subject matter experts (via a workshop, working group, or task force) to provide recommendations on integrating mental health and post-disaster health care and social services into health security preparedness and planning.

Recommended Partners Activities for Strategic Goal 1

  • Community leaders can document response and recovery experiences of non-governmental organizations, volunteer networks, community-based organizations, and consumer advocacy groups, especially those serving at-risk individuals and underserved communities, to incorporate their perspectives into future planning.
  • Health care facilities can incorporate climate change considerations into preparedness planning, including adoption of flood resistance, resilient building codes, and green designs where applicable.
  • Health care facilities and SLTT authorities can evaluate and strengthen surge planning and policies (e.g., adoption of the Nurse Licensure Compact).
  • Regional and state health care and public health organizations can develop information exchange opportunities to share evidence-based practices for worker retention and resilience and mental health resources.
  • Public health authorities and community leaders can build relationships within local communities to establish trusted messengers to communicate public health, health care, and MCM research activities and combat health Mis-Dis-Mal Information.

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