Webcast of Conference on Public Health Preparedness Finds Few Viewers

Conference on strengthening public health preparedness

The National Association of County and City Health Officials, Washington, provided video streaming via the World Wide Web of seven sessions of its 2002 annual conference, "Working in a Changing World: Strengthening Public Health Preparedness," held July 10–13, 2002, in New Orleans.

Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) authorized $5 million for immediate relief and assistance efforts, of which it spent $2 million.

Key Results:

  • The conference explored the multiple actions needed to meet the rapidly changing public health needs following the terrorist assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th.

    In order to expand the potential audience for the sessions beyond the approximately 600 people who attended the meeting, the videotaped sessions were available for streaming, at no charge, upon registration, five days after the meeting.

    The webcast sessions included topics such as:
    • The implementation of the landmark Public Health Threats and Emergency Act of 2000.
    • An examination of disease detection systems developed for events such as the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
    • How the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile has been incorporated into local public health preparedness planning, and the practical applications and lessons learned from the vaccination process following the anthrax outbreak.
  • The association sought to reach several thousand additional public health professionals. Project staff promoted the webcast through the association's newsletters (e.g., the quarterly NACCHO Exchange, circulation 3,000, and the monthly NACCHO Dispatch, circulation 1,500), its website, and e-mail; and through public health trade publications and a press release for the national media. The total number of webcast registrants was 283.

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