Marsha Caulkins, who received her MPH through the Public Health Leadership Program (PHLP), has adapted her field practicum into a booklet that will be distributed across Illinois by the state’s health department. The booklet is titled “Disaster Preparedness Exercises Addressing the Pediatric Population” and can be read here.

Ms. Caulkins completed her practicum in 2005 as part of her Distance MPH. Because the PHLP courses are primarily on-line, she was able to earn her MPH while continuing her job as a risk manager/educator for Evanston Northwestern Healthcare.

Her original draft was further developed by the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (IEMSC) under the direction of the Pediatric Bioterrorism Work Group, Illinois Terrorism Task Force. The resulting booklet is intended to ensure that public health organizations address the pediatric population and the special vulnerabilities of children while planning and preparing for disasters of any type.

As the booklet’s introduction points out, “it is critical that health care organizations become more aware of the pediatric populations within their community by identifying places where children congregate in large numbers, such as schools, daycare centers, recreational facilities, sports arenas, juvenile detention centers and health care/live-in facilities for those children with chronic conditions and special health care needs.” The booklet then provides a number of scenarios, tabletop exercise templates and checklists that highlight unique pediatric concerns.

The initial printing and distribution of the booklet was supported through federal funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Hospital Bioterrorism grant.



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