Public Health System Indicators Project (PHSIP)

Principal Investigator: Margaret Potter, JD, MS

Project Arm 1 aims to develop the next generation of accurate and reliable metrics for measuring the public health preparedness and response system. The questions "what does successful preparedness look like," "what is a successful response," and "how does the public health community assess these issues" are at the core of this project. Project Arm 1 is working to better understand the organizational changes and tradeoffs that occur when local health departments prepare for and respond to a wide range of emergencies. This is a complex process of balancing the requirements of performing normal activities with the need to respond to the new requirements of the emergency. In addition, disruption to normal activities increases as the response intensifies, and ‘tipping points’ may be reached beyond which either essential ‘normal’ and/or ‘response’ functions cannot be sustained. The project is co-coordinated by Health Officers Association of California, and advised by a California-based Advisory Committee.

The work of PHSIP has resulted in the development of several tools, all of which are currently in the draft stage.
Click here for more information about these tools.

Indicators for Stress Adaptation Analytics– a standardized method to measure the burden of an emergency and/or disaster response for the local public health agencies

Local Health Department Characteristics Database – characterization of the heterogeneity of public health department governance across the United States

The formal specific aims for Project Arm 1 as stated in the application to the CDC are:

  • Develop a set of Adaptive System Indicators (ASIs) which accurately portray local public health agencies’ preparedness and response capacity and function
  • Compare ASI predications of performance to actual performance
  • Measure and provide data to computational models for process and economic optimization of system functions
  • Disseminate the tools created from the first three aims with local, state, and national public health system agencies

Project Arm 1 Publications
Project Arm 1 Presentations


Project Arm 1 Personnel

Margaret A. Potter, JD, MS
Principal Investigator

Director, Center for Public Health Practice
Associate Dean for Public Health Practice
Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management
University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

Russell G. Schuh, EdD

Visiting Research Instructor, Department of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Leslie Fink, BA
PHASYS Project Coordinator
Center for Public Health Practice
University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

Bruce Pomer, MPA
Executive Director, Health Officers Association of California

Kat DeBurgh, MPH
Assistant Director, Health Officers Association of California