A message from John W. Robitscher, MPH, CEO of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors:
As of June 1, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors is proud to offer a new way that we are helping to support states in their efforts to prevent and control chronic disease. For the next two years, NACDD will be on a list of providers that the Office of State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support can call upon should extra help be needed during public health crises.
NACDD was selected to participate in the ‘Technical Assistance for Response to Public Health or Healthcare Crises’ funding opportunity because we have a 30-year record of quick and effective action to meet the needs of our Members in state and territorial health departments as they work in crisis and in normal operations to reduce the burden of chronic diseases.
As part of the agreement, NACDD could receive conditional funding to provide states in crises with additional logistical, procurement, communications/administrative, and fiscal agency support.
We sought after this funding because we know that people with chronic diseases are more vulnerable during public health crises. A hurricane or an earthquake has the capacity to dramatically increase suffering and mortality for people with these conditions.
And because we have seen an increase in these kinds of crises across the country, we have started to ramp up our own conversations on this topic among our Membership.
Earlier this year, our Diabetes team devoted their most recent edition of their newsletter, The Connector, to developing crises plans that can support people with chronic diseases. We also have several on-demand learning opportunities on emergency preparedness available on our Online Learning Resources page.
We are gathering and studying response plans from states that address treatment of people with chronic diseases so we can hit the ground running. (If you haven’t already done so, please send us your crisis response plan for managing populations with chronic diseases by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
We’re also putting in place memorandums of understanding with two consulting firms in Atlanta that have lengthy experience working with CDC on various types of emergency responses. These firms have demonstrated capacity with surge staffing and logistics, as well as other critical emergency response functions. This will enable NACDD to provide support to a response while maintaining its ongoing operations. And finally, we have begun preparing our own staff and subject matter experts for how they can be involved in requests that do come in.
As we wait to receive our first call, we keep the communities at risk in Hawaii in our thoughts as they endure the volcanic eruptions there. We also remember and think of our friends in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas, who are still recovering from the deadly hurricanes of last year.
You are not alone. We are ready to help.