Research in Brief: Public Health System Response to Pandemic Influenza

AUGUST 29, 2013 - Two issues of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice feature five articles from a research team based at Georgetown University led by Michael Stoto, PhD, professor of health systems administration at the School of Nursing & Health Studies.

The team, which focuses on systems improvement in public health emergency response, is affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health’s Linking Assessment and Measuring Preparedness (LAMPS) initiative – one of nine Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Centers (PERRC) funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Workshop Summaries

Stoto, health care management & policy alumna Melissa Higdon (NHS’07), and John Kraemer (L’08), JD, MPH, assistant professor of health systems administration, authored – with others – two of the articles, “Learning About After Action Reporting from the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic: A Workshop Summary” and “Lessons About the State and Local Public Health System Response to the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic: A Workshop Summary.”

The first piece focuses on the after action reporting process and notes the variation in after action reports, which are intended to review the response to an incident such as a pandemic.  It also specifically highlights the need for improved methods in examining an emergency incident and suggests methods to do so.

The second article identifies lessons learned by state and local health departments from their response to 2009 H1N1 based on an analysis of the after action reports written after the 2009 H1N1 pandemic in a systematic and aggregate way.

Journal Supplement

The team also published three articles in a journal supplement, including “Measuring and Assessing Public Health Emergency Preparedness,” “Synopsis of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Critical Incident Registry,” and “Local Health Department Public Vaccination Clinic Success During 2009 pH1N1: A Brief.” 

Stoto authored the first, a commentary that explores the current environment for measurement of public health preparedness and the challenges of measuring capabilities in this environment.

The second, by health care management & policy alumna Rachael Piltch-Loeb (NHS’12), Kraemer, and Stoto, summarizes work the three have conducted to develop the concept and operations of a critical incident registry in public health preparedness.

And the last, by Tamar Klaiman, PhD, MPH, a former post-doc at the school, and Stoto, describes local health department’s successes during the 2009 pH1N1 outbreak.


The first two manuscripts are based on a workshop held at the CDC examining the after action reports produced by local health departments following the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

The supplement was designed to feature work from the Dynamics of Preparedness Conference, held last October at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health – another of the CDC-funded PERRCs.  Each piece was presented during that time.

By Rachael Piltch-Loeb (NHS’12) and Michael Stoto, PhD