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Rural Health Information Hub

Shawnee Preparedness and Response Coalition

Summary 
  • Need: To help rural areas access trainings, exercises, and information to improve their emergency preparedness.
  • Intervention: SPARC is a network of 164 organizations in southern Illinois focused on emergency preparedness.
  • Results: SPARC and the Illinois National Guard set up 164 individual Pop-up Vaccination Clinics and vaccinated over 11,000 patients.

Description

The Shawnee Preparedness and Response Coalition (SPARC) is a network of 164 organizations in 23 counties (22 of which are rural) in southern Illinois focused on emergency preparedness. Types of organizations include:

  • Emergency management agencies
  • Health departments
  • Hospitals
  • Local, state, and federal response agency representatives
  • State associations
  • Volunteer organizations
  • Other community partners
SPARC logo

Before SPARC, these organizations used to plan separately for disasters. These entities began to collaborate more and, in 2012, different regional meetings started combining in an effort to reduce duplication of effort. The first SPARC meeting took place in 2013.

Services offered

  • Annual Weathering the Storm Conference
  • Assistance with trainings and exercises, emergency planning, and emergency response
  • Information sharing
  • Lending library of emergency response training textbooks
  • Wellness on Wheels, a mobile clinic that provides vitals checks, screenings, vaccinations, and other services

Results

For the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, SPARC planned and provided public health and medical services for the 250,000 people who came to southern Illinois to watch the eclipse.

More recently, SPARC and the Illinois National Guard set up 164 individual Pop-up Vaccination Clinics and vaccinated over 11,000 patients.

Challenges

SPARC's biggest challenge was breaking down the silos that traditionally exist between different entities, such as the competing interests that might exist between local health departments and emergency management agencies, which are often competing for the same county tax dollars.

Replication

Before building a health or disaster preparedness-focused coalition, identify all the stakeholders in your region and invite them to the table.

Contact Information

Arien Herrmann, Regional Hospital Coordinating Center Manager
Southern Illinois Healthcare
Arien.herrmann@sih.net

Topics
Emergency preparedness and response
Networking and collaboration

States served
Illinois

Date added
August 23, 2022

Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub, 2022. Shawnee Preparedness and Response Coalition [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at: https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/project-examples/1102 [Accessed 1 October 2022]


Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.