Lostistcs and Publication Development, PHS

Meeting management for reporting on disaster response planning. 

On the anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, which completely devastated parts of Florida, a 3-day conference was sponsored by the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS). The conference brought together individuals from federal, state, and local agencies and those voluntary organizations that participated in the Federal Health and Human Services intervention during post-Andrew recovery. Discussions focused on response planning, interagency coordination, management of voluntary assistance, communications, and basic emergency and relief services.

In addition to logistical support, Cygnus provided group process facilitators at seven workshop sessions and synthesized the proceedings and recommendations of the groups into a report used to shape initiatives for future post-disaster recovery efforts.

Cygnus staff worked with chairpersons to summarize each groups’ recommendations and present them to the general conference on the last day. After the meeting, each facilitator wrote a short report about his or her group. All reports followed a common format and outline, developed by Cygnus prior to the meeting, and were checked for factual accuracy. The lead facilitator synthesized the individual workgroup reports into one document that presented the major issues and the recommendations about each issue.

The document underwent in-house technical review and editing before presentation to our client and sent to working group chairpersons and other external reviewers as directed by the client. The draft report was widely praised by reviewers for its clarity and content. The final document, which was intended to support policy changes being recommended to HHS regarding PHS’ role in future disaster recovery efforts, was produced by The Regional Health Administrator and his staff.

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