Antibiotic Mass Prophylaxis Using Polling Places as Distribution Sites

State: IL Type: Model Practice Year: 2008

The principal goal is to establish an oral medication delivery mechanism that enables the Strategic National Stockpile medications to be delivered to Lake County's entire population within the 48-hour timeframe established by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The public health issue addressed by this practice is the problem of distributing Strategic National Stockpile medications to Lake County's entire population within the 48-hour timeframe established by the CDC. This issue's relevance to the Lake County community was established by forming a committee that included police and fire agencies, municipal, township and county government, regional school administration, and a number of volunteer organizations and other representatives of the general public that discussed the proposal to use polling places as distribution sites for Strategic National Stockpile medications; the committee returned its comments and recommendations to the LCHD/CHC. This practice provides a elegant mechanism for delivering Strategic National Stockpile medications to Lake County's entire population during an emergency easily within the required timeframe set by CDC. This approach engages various levels of local jurisdictions and community volunteers.
Agency Community RolesThis practice involves the close cooperation and collaboration between Lake County Health Department and a large number of community-based stakeholders. Lake County Health Department's principal role in this practice was the overall development of the plan. County stakeholders' roles involve developing and planning specific to individual stakeholders and their situations. All partners of this plan are involved in its ongoing coordination and implementation but at differing levels. Specifically, the county clerk provides access to the existing election mechanism (ie. polling sites, election judges, computers, etc.); townships provide intermediate reception sites; local municipalities provide delivery of medications, security and volunteers to the sites while LCHD/CHC activates and administers the county's mass prophylaxis plan and provides resources to manage each individual site. Costs and ExpendituresThe major obstacles to implementation and start-up involved securing the cooperation of Lake County Health Department's external emergency response partners, including fire and police departments, municipal and township governmental agencies, regional superintendent of schools, and volunteer groups in the county. ImplementationThe specific tasks involved in the development of Lake County's oral medication delivery mechanism were as follows: 1) A community-wide committee was established that included police and fire agencies, municipal, township, and county government, regional school administration, and a number of volunteer organizations. 2) This committee assessed various approaches to mass distribution processes and determined that using polling places for the distribution of Strategic National Stockpile medications was the most efficient and practical method. In addition, the committee identified the principal obstacles to program implementation. 3) Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center (LCHD/CHC)took the product of this committee's discussions and developed a draft plan that was then distributed individually to the various committee members for their comments. 4) LCHD/CHC incorporated the comments and suggestions from the individual committee members into the draft plan and completed a final version that included a specific description/outline of the responsibilities of each specific agency in the event of an emergency. The timeframe for these four steps was approximately two years.
There is more than adequate stakeholder commitment to this plan to ensure its continued existence. This commitment is ensured by the significant involvement of each stakeholder in the ongoing management and coordination of this very dynamic plan in order to fulfill a commitment/obligation to citizens. This plan is viable because of the continuing active participation of each partner and the use of multiple community resources. In reality, after this plan was developed and implemented, with CRI grant funding, the only maintenance costs are those associated with the plan's ongoing training requirements.