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Training the Public Health PIO: A Multiyear, Tiered Approach. Bret Atkins Ohio Department of Health Office of Public Affairs. Training the Public Health PIO: A Multiyear, Tiered Approach. The Need The Goal The Challenge The Solution The Process The Result The Next Step.

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Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

Bret Atkins

Ohio Department of Health

Office of Public Affairs


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach1
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

  • The Need

  • The Goal

  • The Challenge

  • The Solution

  • The Process

  • The Result

  • The Next Step


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach2
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

The Need

  • Communicating the organization’s response can be as important as the response itself

  • People will find their own solutions and determine their own actions unless directed otherwise


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach3
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

The Need

  • Public health was under funded for decades

  • Crisis and risk communication is the “new kid on the block”


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach4
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

The Need

  • The increased number of media outlets has increased the competition among media outlets

  • Reporters are more skilled and demanding


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach5
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

The Goal

  • Establish and maintain a communications workforce with sufficient capability to work independently and jointly before and during a crisis


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach6
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

The Goal

  • PIOs at local health departments capable of launching and operating a joint information center


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach7
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

The Challenge


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach8
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

The Solution

  • Communications training

    • instruction

    • practice

    • plans

    • drills

    • exercises


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach9
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

The Process

  • Needs assessment

  • Spokesperson training

  • PIO training

  • PIO exercises


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach10
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

Needs Assessment

  • Survey of Ohio’s 139 local health departments to determine communications capacity early in preparedness process

  • Survey repeated 15 months later


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach11
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

Spokesperson Training

  • WAS: Interview training

  • WAS NOT: Writing, planning, operations, information management or other “behind the scenes” duties


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach12
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

PIO Training

  • WAS NOT: Interview training

  • WAS: Writing, planning, operations, information management or other “behind the scenes” duties


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach13
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

PIO Training

  • Networking and partnership building

  • Presentations on:

    • Differences between PIO and spokesperson

    • Role of PIO in Incident Command

    • Introduction to NIMS

  • Short tabletop exercise on JIS/JIC


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach14
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

PIO Training

  • Review of previous material

  • How to facilitate an exercise

  • Four-hour JIS/JIC tabletop and functional exercise


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach15
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

  • The Need

  • The Goal

  • The Challenge

  • The Solution

  • The Process

  • The Result

  • The Next Step


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach16
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

Communications Capacity

  • Regional PIO Advisory Group to ODH

  • JIC locations identified in plans

  • Nearly 400 PIOs and spokespersons identified (primary and backup)

  • Regional PIO meetings

  • Some independent training


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach17
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

  • The Need

  • The Goal

  • The Challenge

  • The Solution

  • The Process

  • The Result

  • The Next Step


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach18
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

The Next Step

  • Advance the material

  • Remove artificiality

  • “Put it to the test”


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach19
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

The Next Step

  • JIC in a Box

  • A multimedia self-facilitated JIS/JIC exercise conducted at the local level, at the JIC location with real-life response partners


Training the public health pio a multiyear tiered approach20
Training the Public Health PIO:A Multiyear, Tiered Approach

Bret Atkins

Ohio Department of Health

Office of Public Affairs

Questions?