During the Jury’s initial contact with the medical and administrative staff of the Santa Barbara Public Health Department, it learned there exists a well-established coalition of public and private health care providers. This coalition is a multi-tiered communication system reaching from the national Centers for Disease Control to the California State Department of Health (CSDH) to the 58 county public health departments to every licensed private health care provider. The CSDH ensures the readiness of each local county health department by requiring an annual simulation drill which tests the strengths and weakness of all components of the department. Each department designates the area of focus for the drill, plans, executes, and evaluates the actual operation. An after-action report to the CSDH must be submitted within 90 days of the simulation. The focal point of this collaborative team effort is to ensure all necessary resources are available to the public and first responders are properly trained.
After monitoring the annual simulation drill on Ebola preparedness, the 2014-15 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury is confident that the infectious disease preparedness plans established by the Santa Barbara Public Health Department are adequate and ready for implementation when needed.
The entire report, “Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, Protecting Our Human Infrastructure,” is attached and can be accessed at www.sbcgj.org.
The Santa Barbara County Grand Jury is a basic part of California government within the judicial branch. The Grand Jury is charged with keeping watch over county government as well as cities and districts operating within the county. Recruitment for the 2015-16 Grand Jury is open until 8 May 2015 and the application can be downloaded from firstname.lastname@example.org.