Engaging the Public in Critical Disaster Planning and Decision Making - Workshop for the 2013 Public Health Preparedness Summit in Atlanta, GA
The goal of public engagement is to inform and discuss. It is a useful, and sometimes necessary, approach for obtaining public input about pending policy decisions that require difficult choices among competing values. Although average citizens may lack the expertise to comment on technical issues (e.g., the use of Sequential Organ Failure Assessment [SOFA] scores to allocate ventilators), they are perfectly capable of deliberating on the values underlying such decisions as whether to withhold or withdraw life-preserving care in situations of scarce resources. One of the values of public engagement is that it can help reveal misunderstandings, biases, and areas of deep disagreement. Policy makers then can work to address these matters during the development of disaster plans, the response phase, and during the dissemination phase when interested community partners and the general public are informed of the policies that have been adopted.
This workshop, organized in collaboration with the Institute of Medicine and building off of the guidance developed in the 2012 Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) Report, will be organized in a manner to introduce the key principles of public engagement and encourage participants to strategize their efforts and leverage work already being done. Presenters will provide specific examples of resources to assist jurisdictions in planning public engagement activities as well as challenges experienced and potential solutions. It will end with breakout interactive public engagement exercises with all attendees coming away with new knowledge and tools.
• Introduce the key principles of public engagement.
• Provide practical guidance on how to plan and implement a public engagement activity.
• Provide attendees with sample tools to facilitate planning.
• Introduce and simulate different methods of engagement exercises.