24 recommendations will make our state and region more resilient in the face of future public health emergencies.

MORRISVILLE  – The North Carolina Medical Society is pleased to join the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) in announcing the launch of the report and recommendations of the Carolinas Pandemic Preparedness Task Force, reflecting a vision for pandemic preparedness, response, and recovery in our state.

NCMS’s Franklin Walker served on the NC work group, which was convened by the NCIOM in partnership with the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health between July 2021 and April 2022. Informed by insights and experiences from more than 90 experts and key informants, the North Carolina report of the task force elevates strategies to achieve equity, support data-driven decision-making and emergency management, and promote effective coordination in navigating public health emergencies.

Walker says “It was an honor to work with my colleagues from North and South Carolina to draft guidelines that should improve both states pandemic  preparedness moving forward.” 

The report identifies several areas of specific relevance to North Carolina:

  • Access to the supplies necessary to effectively control the spread of disease, particularly among the most vulnerable (Chapter 3)
  • Infrastructure changes to support adaptability (Chapter 4)
  • Workforce development that prioritizes retention and strengthening the workforce pipeline (Chapter 5)
  • Modernized surveillance and information systems to support data-driven decision-making and clear, effective, and tailored communication (Chapter 6)
  • Expansion of broadband infrastructure and addressing digital literacy (Chapter 7)
  • System changes to ensure supports and services can be accessed before, during, and after public health emergencies, and clear, effective, and tailored communications about the same (Chapters 8 and 9)
  • Promotion of effective coordination and maximizing resources by establishing and maintaining partnerships (Chapter 10)

“This report should serve as a model for how leaders in health care, public health, and business and economic development in our state collaborate in future preparedness and response efforts,” said task force co-chair North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders.

“While many of us, understandably, want to move forward and put the pandemic behind us, we know that it will take years to fully appreciate the implications of what we have been through,” said NCIOM President and CEO Kathleen Colville. “New insights and lessons will continue to emerge with time. We’re grateful to task force members for offering their experiences and perspectives while in the thick of pandemic response, and for their call on us as a state to invest in fundamentals like education, broadband, data systems, and relationships to prepare us for future emergencies.”

About the NCIOM

The North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) is an independent organization focused on improving the health and well-being of North Carolinians by providing analysis on the health and well-being of North Carolinians, identifying solutions to the health issues facing our state, building consensus toward evidence-based solutions, and informing health policy at the state and local level. Learn more: https://nciom.org/about-us/

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