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Improving the Integration of CBOs: Building Relationships in Preparation for the Next Emergency

As trusted entities within their communities, CBOs are well positioned to partner with emergency management and public health entities to address the access and functional needs of at-risk individuals during future public health emergencies. Increased utilization of community data, as well as cross-sector partnerships between CBOs and health care organizations (HCOs) can meaningfully address the access and functional needs of communities. Below are examples of community data in action and opportunities for cross-sector collaboration:

Topic Areas

Capacity Building Guides and Resources: Created by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), in collaboration with ASPR and ACL, the Capacity-Building Toolkit for Including Aging and Disability Networks in Emergency Planning provides helpful worksheets, resources, and guidance on ways for state and local public health organizations, as well as CBOs, to meaningfully address individuals access and functional need in preparation for or in response to public health emergencies. For those who work with individuals experiencing homelessness in their communities, the Disaster Preparedness to Promote Community Resilience: Information and Tools for Homeless Service Providers and Professionals toolkit equips homeless service providers and public health officials with helpful information to address the access and functional needs of those experiencing homelessness in their community when a disaster strikes.

Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP): In anticipation of the next public health emergency, CBOs may want to identify community partners with whom they can work closely with to address the access and functional needs of their community. Doing so may be difficult at first, but tapping into or becoming a part of a health care coalition (HCC) is a good place to start. A national directory of HCCs which are funded through ASPR’s Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) can be found online. Through the HPP’s federal funding, CBOs can more easily identify community partners with a common mission and/or a shared understanding of what is required of preparedness planning and work closely with health and community organizations, including faith-based organizations, hospitals, and public health professionals, to prepare for and respond to the public health emergency. HCC involvement has many positive spillover effects including but not limited to purchasing power coalition opportunities and increased visibility in the community.