News & Events

Massachusetts satellite broadcast on emergency preparedness

From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
July/August 2003 Edition

By Chris Pontus, MS, RN, COHN-S
Associate Director, Health & Safety

On July 8, 2003, representatives from the MNA participated in the Emergency Preparedness, Incident Command Systems and Connectivity Program. Produced by the Harvard Center for Public Health Preparedness in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health the broadcast was down linked to 17 local community sites, with each site led by trained facilitators.

Diverse groups of approximately 650 people across the state were reached during this broadcast. The broadcast’s intent was to train and educate public health workers, healthcare providers and first line responders in aspects of bioterrorism and response.

The first of two interactive broadcasts was educational, practical and widely disseminated basics of emergency preparedness. It specifically responded to the need for development and practice of core competencies in disaster management and preparedness. Massachusetts satellite broadcast on emergency preparedness

The program focused on four goals:

  1. Identification of key players in their local health and public safety infrastructure; strengthening local partnerships and enhancing the capacity of local networks.
  2. Describing important principles of emergency preparedness, incident command, and connectivity (an integrative approach to problem solving, negotiation and confl ict resolution designed to enhance preparedness planning and management).
  3. Articulation of the aspects or steps involved in pre- and post-event bioterrorism preparedness planning. These broadcasts offered participating agencies and audience members an opportunity to:
      Share information and resources

    • Solicit the wisdom and strength of local communities
    • Highlight strategies for building partnerships and communicate effectively
    • Discuss future directions for bioterrorism education and training efforts in Massachusetts and the New England area
  4. Identify ways that public health practioners and first responder’s interface with existing health management and support structures, and how they understand their role.

A second broadcast is tentatively scheduled for December. For more information, contact Cathy McKenna at 617.983.6856 or by e-mail at You can also visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bioterrorrism Preparedness and Response Web site at:

Through learning, collaboration and networking, this is an opportunity for MNA members to become an integral part in expanding and strengthening the public health infrastructure in Massachusetts.

The MNA has full-day educational programs on Emergency Medical Response and acts of Terrorism that include a discussion of incident command. For more information, go to Continuing Education.

Currently the MNA has an Emergency Preparedness Task Force and welcomes new members to attend. If you have any questions or are interested in the task force please contact Chris Pontus at 781.830.5776 or via e-mail