Improving Team Performance for Public Health Preparedness

Megan Peck, Mickey Scullard, Craig Hedberg, Emily Moilanen, Deborah Radi, William Riley, Paige Anderson Bowen, Cheryl Petersen-Kroeber, Louise Stenberg, Debra K. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective Between May 2010 and September 2011, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health partnered with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to assess the effect of exercises on team performance during public health emergency response. Methods Participants were divided into 3 research teams exposed to various levels of intervention. Groups consisted of a control group that was given standard MDH training exercises, a didactic group exposed to team dynamics and communication training, and a treatment group that received the didactic training in addition to a post-exercise facilitated debriefing. To assess differences in team performance, teams engaged in 15 functional exercises. Results Differences in team performance across the 3 groups were identified, although there was no trend in team performance over time for any of the groups. Groups demonstrated fluctuation in team performance during the study period. Attitudinal surveys demonstrated an increase in workplace satisfaction and confidence in training among all groups throughout the study period. Conclusions Findings from this research support that a critical link exists between training type and team performance during public health emergency response. This research supports that intentional teamwork training for emergency response workers is essential for effective public health emergency response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-10
Number of pages4
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported in part through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant number 5P01TP00000301-05. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC. The authors acknowledge the contributions of Samantha Morgan, Debra Burns, and Sarah Henderson Ramsey.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc.


  • disaster planning
  • emergency preparedness
  • public health preparedness
  • simulation training
  • state health department


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