A model for use by local public health departments to evaluate pandemic influenza plans

Maureen N Williams, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The events of the 1990's and early 2000's demonstrated the need for effective planning and response to natural and man-made disasters. One of those potential natural disasters is pandemic flu. Once defined, the CDC stated that program, or plan, effectiveness is improved through the process of program evaluation. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1999) Program evaluation should be accomplished not only periodically, but in the course of routine administration of the program. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1999) Accomplishing this task for a "rare, but significant event" is challenging. (Herbold, John R., PhD., 2008) To address this challenge, the RAND Corporation (under contract to the CDC) developed the "Facilitated Look-Backs" approach that was tested and validated at the state level. (Aledort et al., 2006). Nevertheless, no comprehensive and generally applicable pandemic influenza program evaluation tool or model is readily found for use at the local public health department level. This project developed such a model based on the "Facilitated Look-Backs" approach developed by RAND Corporation. (Aledort et al., 2006) Modifications to the RAND model included stakeholder additions, inclusion of all six CDC program evaluation steps, and suggestions for incorporating pandemic flu response plans in seasonal flu management implementation. Feedback on the model was then obtained from three LPHD's—one rural, one suburban, and one urban. These recommendations were incorporated into the final model. Feedback from the sites also supported the assumption that this model promotes the effective and efficient evaluation of both pandemic flu and seasonal flu response by reducing redundant evaluations of pandemic flu plans, seasonal flu plans, and funding requirement accountability. Site feedback also demonstrated that the model is comprehensive and flexible, so it can be adapted and applied to different LPHD needs and settings. It also stimulates evaluation of the major issues associated with pandemic flu planning. The next phase in evaluating this model should be to apply it in a program evaluation of one or more LPHD's seasonal flu response that incorporates pandemic flu response plans.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Williams, Maureen N, "A model for use by local public health departments to evaluate pandemic influenza plans" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1454211.