Rural Health Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness

  • Norton, James (PI)
  • Armitstead, John (CoI)
  • Evans, Martin (CoI)
  • Hustedde, Ronald (CoI)
  • Kaak, Hans (CoI)
  • Martin, Craig (CoI)
  • Morgan, Melissa (CoI)
  • Priddy, Kenny (CoI)
  • Rapp, Robert (CoI)
  • Scharko, Patricia (CoI)
  • Sprang, Ginny (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The Kentucky TeleHealth Network (KTHN) is the statewide telehealth initiative comanaged by the University of Kentucky (UK) and the University of Louisville (UL) which connects over 60 healthcare facilities with interactive videoconference technology. This network connects patients from rural Kentucky to healthcare specialists without requiring the patient to travel. PROACT (Preparedness and Response On Advance Communications Technology) is a subset of 16 KTHN sites committed to providing the Kentucky Department of Public Health (KYDPH) with emergency access to the network sites 24x7. In the event ofa disaster, KYDPH contacts UK, the central control point and contact is made to UL and St. Claire Regional Medical Center which are regional hubs. Then, each PROACT network site is alerted to immediately activate their videoconference system. The network is committed to be active within six hours of the initial contact, allowing face-to-face interaction between public health officials, community clinicians, patients and experts from across the country via interactive videoconference technology. This proposal requests funding for each PROACT site to support existing site coordinators as they expand their roles to provide promotion and marketing of educational programs related to disaster preparedness. The UK, UL and St. Claire sites receive higher funding due to their greater responsibility for communicating to, and physically connecting, network sites together. After the two year grant period, the site coordinators at each PROACT site will have integrated the marketing and operation of the educational programs into their current responsibilities, and the network should not require external funding to support continued delivery of educational programming. The PROACT network will be used for all interactive videoconference dissemination of educational programming originating from KYDPH. The network will also be used to distribute educational programming from the Public Health Training Network (PHTN) which was launched by the CDC in 1993 to deliver educational programming to the public health workforce across the nation. KTHN has downlinked several PHTN satellite programs and broadcast them across the network to public health workers and community-based clinicians that normally could not receive such high quality educational programs. PROACT's parent telehealth network, KTHN has been providing educational programming to community healthcare professionals for over 8 years, and conducted over 24,000 contact hours of educational programming in 2002. A network map and list of sites for the PROACT network is included as ATTACHMENT XXXx. Activities to achieve obiective The Kentucky Department of Public Health (KYDPH) will perform at least one educational session via interactive videoconference each month. The target audience for these programs is public health providers, nurses and physicians in public health facilities, community clinics and rural hospitals. Potential topics include: 1) Smallpox Mass Vaccinations 2) Surveillance and Communication (Incident Command) 3) First Response Activities 4) Specimen Collection and Handling 5) Responding to a Radiation incident 6) Responding to a Chemical incident 7) Developing community disaster response exercises The KYDPH has implemented a network of 16 bioterrorism coordinators, geographically situated around the state, and their mission is to coordinate community-based disaster preparedness and response efforts and develop local response plans. They also must insure those plans are integrated into the state, regional and national response plans. The PROACT network will help facilitate regular face-to-face interaction between the KYDPH and the bioterrorism coordinators, helping them accomplish the integration of community plans into a cohesive regional, statewide and national plan. The Department of Public Health has also begun scheduling regional and multi-state disaster exercises, and the PROACT network will be used to integrate distant experts into the disaster response effort. These could be clinical experts from University Medical Centers, Homeland Security Experts from Washington DC or subject matter experts from the CDC. The network will also be used to bring participants from the exercises together for post incident evaluation. After the evaluation, weaknesses in the response efforts will have been uncovered, and the videoconference network will be used to provide training that will overcome any deficiencies. 12 programs will be provided in Yl, with an average attendance of25 for a total attendance of 300 (75 nurses, 20 physicians, 205 public health workers). Y2 will have the same number of programs and attendees. This grant is not seeking funding support for these programs. The funding request is to support the site coordinators at the PROACT network sites as they begin to add the marketing and promotion of Public Health Bioterrorism educational programming into their normal job assignments. The content development and delivery will all be provided by the Kentucky Department of Public Health, and the delivery mechanism will be the PROACT network which will bring this content to rural healthcare facilities, close to rural physicians, nurses and public health workers that normally would have been forced to travel to receive these programs. Due to restricted travel budgets, it is unlikely that many of these participants would be able to travel, and without the PROACT network, would have been excluded from this valuable training entirely.
Effective start/end date9/30/039/29/04


  • University of Louisville: $393,157.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.