Managing Responses to Emerging Infectious Diseases:
Past, Present, Future

Course Overview

Training Description:
Managing a response to an emerging infectious disease outbreak is challenging for many reasons. The need to act quickly must be balanced with collaboration across disciplines, constrained resources, and a need to solve the unknowns about the nature of a novel disease. 

This training series will focus on planning for and responding to emerging and re-emerging infectious disease threats, with the overarching goal of raising awareness of roles across disciplines. Speakers throughout the series will address the unique challenges of emerging infectious disease response such as planning, public information, patient movement, staff / responder health and safety, infrastructure, and interagency collaboration.

The series will consist of three webinars, followed by an in-person session, which will be offered in various regions of the state. The target audience for this training consists of the five core public health and healthcare disciplines (community health centers, emergency medical services, long term care facilities, hospitals, and public health).

Target Audience:
Public health, emergency medical services, community health center, long term care, and hospital disciplines; primarily emergency managers, clinical staff and first responders, as well as ancillary personnel such as respiratory therapists, laboratory, facilities, maintenance, and security

The DelValle Institute for Emergency Preparedness is the Education & Training branch of the Office of Public Health Preparedness. In conjunction with Boston EMS, a bureau of the Boston Public Health Commission, the DelValle Institute provides high-quality all-hazards training and exercises to develop and enhance capabilities-based preparedness. This training delivery is offered through a contract with the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), with funding from the Office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Hospital Preparedness Program.

The views and opinions expressed and all related documents and course materials do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Hospital Preparedness Program. For more information regarding DelValle Institute funding, please visit 
the funding page.

Course Dates

Webinar #1: Core Concepts

The unique challenges of emerging infectious diseases include an increased need for trust and communication with the public, personal protective measures, and collaboration with colleagues across agencies and disciplines. This webinar will introduce these and other challenges and review foundational concepts that will be expanded upon for the remainder of the training series.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

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Webinar #2: Learning from the Past

As with any type of hazard, it is imperative that we draw upon experience from past outbreaks to build a collective wisdom and continual improvement to our response. With emerging infectious diseases, this is particularly challenging given that such outbreaks often occur years apart and in distant communities. In this webinar, we’ll examine best practices and lessons uncovered from historical EID response efforts, and explore how these can be applied to improve our response to future outbreaks.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
11:00 am - 12:00 pm



Webinar #3: Examining the Present

In September 2014, the first Ebola patient in the US was diagnosed in Dallas. From the day of that diagnosis, and for weeks afterward, public health, healthcare, and EMS agencies in Dallas County were working in a context very different from the day-to-day routine. Join us for a look behind the scenes of the multi-agency response, including how lessons observed in 2014 are informing planning and response actions today.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016
11:00 am - 12:00 pm



Live Session: Looking to the Future 

Given all that we will have learned and discussed about the past and present from the preceding webinars, what steps can we take to improve our future responses? Join this live session to explore this question with colleagues across the core public health and healthcare disciplines.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016, Burlington, MA 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday, September 20, 2016, Easton, MA 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday, September 30, 2016, Holyoke, MA 10:00 am - 4:00 pm