The perfect model for the perfect storm: creating an effective state to grassroots comprehensive public health and medical strategic communication model
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Every emergency situation presents unique challenges. It is absolutely essential to have a good grasp on the specific situation to be able to make the best decisions possible for public health response and mitigation. Clear situational awareness can mean the difference between life and death, which allows all partners to collect information, collaborate, and communicate prior to making critical decisions during an emergency and applies to all stakeholders, whether at the state, regional, or local levels. Ultimately, the communication between those who have information and those who need the information must be shared; to be most effective, the information must be timely, accurate and credible. This thesis describes the development of a strategic communications model for Emergency Support Function-8 (ESF-8) public health and medical partners from the state to comprehensive grassroots level in Mississippi (MS). The development of the MS ESF-8 Healthcare Coalition (MEHC) single model allows for information sharing across the entire medical enterprise in MS, including both public and private entities. Through case studies, events, an exercise, and workshops, the MEHC model was developed and a common operating picture was realized. This thesis filled a needed gap and will ultimately help to save lives.
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