Outreach is an important component of the mission of the Center for One Health Illinois . The Center facilitates communication among experts in human health, animal welfare, and ecosystem health.
Past projects include:
- COHI conducted the first “One Health Illinois” summit with invited key leaders from state and local agencies, universities, non-governmental organizations and industry to determine how groups may better collaborate to address human, animal, and ecosystem health issues in Illinois. The summit will lead to expanded future opportunities under COHI.
- Workforce needs of local health departments in Illinois. This is a follow up survey to one completed in 2003 and describes the number of employees needed to fully staff local health departments in Illinois, the job descriptions and educational needs for open positions and the number of employees eligible for retirement within the next five years.
- Utilization of the MAPP model to assess community health in Stephenson County, IL as part of the Illinois Plan for Local Assessment of Needs.
- Designed and conducted a two day, national forum entitled: The University of Illinois Colloquium on One Medicine: Designing an intra-university public health program at the interface of human, animal and ecosystem health
- Designed and conducted a functional exercise for the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Food, Drugs and Dairies to test the Food Emergency Response Plan. The Center developed and completed a functional exercise to test the readiness of state and local agencies in the face of a food-borne illness outbreak associated with intentional bacterial contamination. Journal Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Vol. 6, #1, article 49, 2009.
- The Center for One Health Illinois hosted a workshop entitled, “Tools for Integrated One Health Surveillance”. This one day workshop brought together experts from academia, state public health agencies and private industry to discuss tools for an integrated surveillance system in Illinois. Invited experts presented seed concepts to underscore the need for integrated surveillance, expected successes and potential impediments to the process.
- Completed “Flu at the Zoo”, a multi-state, functional, USDA funded react and respond to an outbreak of avian influenza exercise for zoos
- Continue to work with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications on the development of an integrated One Health surveillance system in Illinois.
Future plans include:
- Conduct additional preparedness training exercises at the state and local levels. We will develop, conduct and evaluate training modules, tabletop exercises and functional exercises, conducted in virtual and real time for local and state public health and related agency emergency response staff. Content will be developed in field epidemiology and outbreak investigation. We will also try to identify gaps in local and state public health law regarding outbreak investigation, confidentiality, isolation and quarantine issues that affect the preparedness and response of public health agencies to natural and intentional exposures. Deficiencies identified by training modules and exercises will feed back and fuel new research initiatives.
- We will develop community level geographic information system (GIS) templates detailing the location of community emergency and support services and the location of vulnerable populations, develop algorithms transferable to any community regarding emergency animal care and evacuation in the face of natural and intentional disasters.
- Develop and conduct community forums on emerging and infectious diseases and develop and disseminate informational materials on emerging and infectious diseases to the public through the COHI website and other electronic media. Public informational activities will be designed to enhance public awareness of how public health issues are related to determinants and contributing factors within the broader arena of animal and ecosystem health.