Supporting Government to Respond to Public Health Emergencies

The size and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic has required state and local governments to rapidly scale up their capacity to respond effectively. In particular, this has included the efficient mobilization of a large new temporary workforce for surveillance, case investigation, contact tracing, outreach and wellness services, and other functions.

Few local jurisdictions in the DC-MD-VA region have had an emergency response scale on par with Fairfax County, Virginia, the largest county in the region with well over a million residents. To create surge capacity for their COVID-19 emergency response, Fairfax County turned to IPHI.  Over the first four months, IPHI recruited, employed, trained and deployed over 400 staff for Fairfax County Health Department, including management staff, case and contact interviewers, community health workers, epidemiologists, environmental health specialists and others. In addition to training each of these new  hires, IPHI trained over 200 pre-existing health department staff who had been internally reassigned to assist with pandemic response. IPHI also collaborates with Fairfax County to provide ongoing implementation, evaluation and performance management support for their COVID-19 containment efforts.

For more information on this partnership, see Fairfax County Health Department’s initial press release. We also invite you to reach out to Carolyn Padovano, Senior Director (cpadovano@institutephi.org), for additional information on IPHI’s capacity to assist governments in COVID-19 emergency response.