The Problem: Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) found itself in the midst of the initial U.S. outbreak of the H1N1 influenza global pandemic. A coordinated, collaborative approach to address the outbreak was needed. Yet, a description of a multisector community partnership during an influenza pandemic has not been described in the literature.

Purpose: This article reports the efforts taken by a local health department to partner with the community utilizing a three-phase model to communicate, plan, and implement a strategy to ease the fear that existed and to minimize the illness in the region. This article describes in detail critical components of the community wide partnership. Lessons learned from this event are highlighted which have implications for future public health policy.

Key Points: The key points to the article are that there are three critical phases to successful community partnership during an influenza outbreak: Communication, planning, and implementation. The learning points include that communication is paramount, creation of partnerships is vital to a successful implementation phase, and public health funds are leveraged more effectively by collaborating with community partners.

Conclusion: The NCDOH’s multisector partnership with hospitals, physicians, and community organizations to address the H1N1influenza pandemic was nontraditional and allowed for leveraging of public health resources. The three-phase model can be replicated for future infectious disease outbreaks.


Additional Information

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pp. 531-540
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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