• About the Project

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  • Emergency Preparedness Toolkit for Primary Care Providers (Toolkit) is a project of the Center for Community Health and Service Learning (Center) at Morehouse School of Medicine, supported by funding from the National Center of Excellence for the Study of Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response (PACER) at John Hopkins through a sub-grant from the US Department of Homeland Security. The program also received funding from the Regional Coordinating Center for Hurricane Response, a NIH funded program of Centers of Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Health Disparities and Training (EXPORT Centers) from 2005 – 2010. The Toolkit is an extension of the Center’s previous work in emergency preparedness through the Homeland Security Volunteer grant and the Center’s vision of being a connected, caring community of lifelong learners who provide valuable and meaningful service to underserved communities in Metro Atlanta. The Center has played an integral role in the development of the Nation's future public health leaders through connecting academics with service-learning, community service and civic engagement.


    The purpose of the project has been to determine the educational, training, & resource needs of primary care providers (PCP) for natural & manmade disasters. The resulting information has served as the basis for an emergency preparedness toolkit for PCP to use during emergencies/disasters, with an emphasis of meeting the needs of underserved and safety-net populations.

    To guide the project, an advisory board was assembled to provide feedback on all stages of the project. The advisory board members represent a variety of disciplines, locations and fields of expertise. Members of the advisory board include a retired Army general previously in charge of military response efforts for disasters, Chief of Staff for Emergency Medicine for a major hospital system in the Southeast, the national director of emergency preparedness for community health centers, a local public health department emergency response coordinator, a state department of health medical reserve coordinator, and dean of a school of public health. The advisory board has met via conference call bi-monthly. Its members have provided feedback on the survey and assisted in data collection efforts, provided material for inclusion in the toolkit and reviewed the toolkit contents.

    Data Collection

    Data collection was completed through focus groups, key informant interviews and surveys. During pilot testing, the survey instrument was reviewed with healthcare providers (physicians, nurses, public health officers) at a national conference.

    Focus groups were conducted in four states to determine the experiences, and needs, related to emergency preparedness of providers. The providers were recruited via professional organizations as well as their practice location. The community/patient focus groups have also been conducted in MS, AL, & LA. These patients were primarily recruited via their primary medical care site. Fifteen key informant interviews were conducted with a variety of stakeholders. Finally, more than 305 surveys have been completed by primary care providers at conferences of professional organizations and via an online survey shared with members of a practice based research network.

    Project Staff

    Morehouse School of Medicine faculty and staff who have worked on this project are:

    Meryl McNeal, PhD, MA (PI)
    Director, Center for Community Health & Service-Learning; Associate Professor, Community Health and Preventive Medicine

    Elvan Catherine Daniels, MD, MPH
    Associate Director for Community Oriented Primary Care, National Center for Primary Care; Assistant Professor, Community Health and Preventive Medicine

    Tabia Henry Akintobi, PhD, MPH
    Director, Prevention Research Center; Research Assistant Professor, Community Health and Preventive Medicine

    Kendra Williams Pierson, MA
    Program Manager, Center for Community Health & Service-Learning

    De'Bran Jacobs, MPH
    Research Assistant, Prevention Research Center (Formerly)

    Toye Metoyer Williams, MSPH
    Assistant Director for Community Oriented Primary Care, National Center for Primary Care (Formerly)