In 2009 and 2010, Meridian Institute, with support from Blue Ridge Consulting, designed and facilitated a series of public engagements and coalition meetings in Seattle, Washington, for the Seattle and King County Public Health Department and the King County Healthcare Coalition. These meetings were designed to create public dialogue and build agreement on key aspects of emergency preparedness and response to disasters—particularly medical disasters. This project evolved out of an earlier Meridian-facilitated process on pandemic flu planning and built off experience with the H1N1 flu outbreak.
At the meetings, participants collaboratively planned for vaccine distribution and for managing other resources that may become scarce in the event of a disaster. They also discussed and identified lessons learned from the first H1N1 flu season. Participants in these meetings included a broad array of stakeholders from the medical and public health fields, in addition to a diverse cross-section of the general public in the Seattle and King County area.