Researchers working closely with NC partners
For a second year, NCPERRC research teams are working with partners in North Carolina to learn about public health preparedness systems and how these systems can be strengthened. This close partnership is at the heart of the overall research goal – to strengthen and sustain preparedness capacity. Partners from local health departments, the state's largest hospital systems and the state division of public health are helping to shape the research questions, providing critical information on current practices, and lending insights to the analysis and interpretation of the findings. This issue of NCEPRRC News features the collaboration with partners and reports on the current state of the 4 main research projects.
North Carolina local health departments – 2010 has been another year of record participation by staff in local health departments (LHDs) in NCPERRC research. As of this writing, all NC LHDs have participated in at least one research study by completing surveys, responding to requests for information, and answering questions during interviews. In 2009 and 2010, NCPERRC conducted 9 studies with participation from NC LHDs. When participation rates from last year and this year are combined, response data show that 8% of LHDs participated in 2 studies, 62.5% of LHDs participated in 3 or 4 studies, 26% of LHDs participated in 5 or 6 studies and 3.5% of LHDs have participated in 7 to 9 studies! Why all the excitement? Research can only be as good as the "response rate" achieved, or the number of people who agree to participate. With such a strong response, findings are more comprehensive which leads to making conclusions and recommendations with greater confidence. In January 2011, certificates of participation will again be awarded to recognize the LHDs who contributed to NCPERRC research in 2010.
Largest hospital systems in NC – One of the research projects focused on the Public Health Epidemiologist (PHE) Program which has epidemiologists located in the 11 largest hospitals systems around the state. All the hospitals with a PHE participated in the research.
North Carolina Division of Public Health (NC DPH) – Staff at the division contribute in numerous ways – serving on the NCPERRC Synergy & Translation Committee (the advisory committee with participation from LHDs as well as the division), advising the research project teams and responding to requests for information from all of the projects. This summer, the division initiated a strategic planning process and invited NCPERRC to participate. NCPERRC greatly appreciates this opportunity and believes that it will help ensure the relevance of NCPERRC research for the future of public health preparedness in North Carolina.