South Florida Hospital News
Sunday September 22, 2019
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June 2008 - Volume 4 - Issue 12

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Convening Unlikely Stakeholders

What do health clinicians or administrators have in common with Home Depot? Making that answer obvious is a goal of The Florida Public Health Institute (FPHI), led by Claude Earl Fox, M.D., M.P.H., a public health physician on the forefront of federal, state and local agencies for the past 30 years.

Since its inception in 2006, FPHI has brought together leaders from academia; city, county and state government; foundations; business; health industry and the local communities.

"By sitting at the same table we aspire to increase collaboration and leverage new resources among traditional and nontraditional stakeholders to improve health status and foster innovative methodologies of preparedness," according to Fox.

FPHI recently hosted its first annual Summit on the topic of business disaster recovery, "Up and Running in One Hour: Disaster Recovery for Your Small to Mid-Sized Business" featuring speakers highlighting what business needs to know to respond in an emergency and how to link to each other and health professionals for support and critical information.

A not-for-profit think tank, FPHIs vision is to be a conduit to translate research into policy and finally into practice. For example, last year the Institute received operational funding ($1.25 million) from the National Network of Public Health Institutes/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Quantum Foundation for core institution development. Additionally, through the National Network Public Health Institute, FPHI was named lead institute on a national Center for Disease Control (CDC) emergency preparedness modeling project. It was designed to gauge national expertise in computer and formal modeling options, scenario-based analysis, and policy guidance across a range of potential threat situations.

FPHIs Director of the Center for Bio Preparedness, Lisa Rosenfeld MPH, serves as the Preparedness Modeling Initiative project manager. She lends her expertise regarding biological and disease-oriented scenarios with other national health leaders to determine the level of awareness and use of computer, mathematical and other sophisticated modeling for preparedness and response to an influenza pandemic, radiological hazards in urban settings and a series of severe weather-related disasters. Along with Debora Kerr, FPHI Assistant Director, they presented findings at the 2008 Public Health Preparedness Summit, hailed as a significant national event bringing the public health preparedness community together to share resources and plan together for the future. Debora Kerr, MA, has demonstrated her effectiveness in economic development, building cross-industry and multi-disciplinary collaboration, research, program planning, grantsmanship, and project management within the healthcare industry.

In addition to the focus on BioPreparedness, the institute has developed centers of excellence in workforce development, preventive and primary care, and a center for education, research and training, which dovetail with the overarching goal to improve the health and wellbeing of the state of Florida via policy development, education and research.

"We envision the institute evolving into a neutral convener of private and public sectors with a multi-focus including but not limited to preparedness, vulnerable populations and their attendant health needs, and capacity of business to sustain an integral role in community wellbeing," Fox explained.

As a consultative unit, FPHI collaborates with government, universities, business and hospitals as a vehicle for positive health system change wherever the opportunity may arise. Opportunities currently on the radar screen include safe water technology during hazardous events; innovative staffing capacities including collaboration with Floridas medical reserve corps or inventory of healthcare professionals available for recall during a surge demand; cross networking among unique stakeholders in any business recovery effort; and a focus on overcoming cultural or language barriers to health access.

Fox predicts, "Any strategic affiliation which addresses education, research or policy issues brings additional intellectual capital and will ultimately strengthen the health system fabric throughout the state."

For more information, visit www.flphi.org.
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