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Meridian Institute

Pandemic Flu Demonstration Projects

Related: Health

In partnership with the International City/County Management Association, Meridian Institute contracted with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to design, facilitate, and document demonstration projects in Washington state and Hawaii on issues relating to the planning, management, and control of pandemic flu. The project began in 2008, before the H1N1 virus first appeared.


In Washington, Meridian worked with the King County (Seattle) Public Health Department to address the issue of the distribution of scarce medical resources. Meridian facilitated a series of public meetings at which diverse stakeholders discussed and brainstormed how, if needed, the community should distribute critical elements such as hospital beds, ambulances, and end-of-life care, if shortages arose during a pandemic. One of the public meetings was held in Spanish. In addition, Meridian facilitated a meeting on this topic with health professionals alone. The process was very successful in engaging a broad range of stakeholders to address this issue and develop creative solutions. In fact, the process won a national “model practice” award from the National Association of City and County Health Officials and was featured at a national CDC conference.


In Hawaii, Meridian worked with the Hawaii State Department of Health, and the demonstration project addressed the issue of vaccine distribution. The CDC had developed vaccine distribution guidance, but stakeholders in Hawaii wanted to discuss whether they should create their own guidance, since the state relies so heavily on imports for basic needs such as food and oil and thus may have different priorities for distributing vaccines. As with Washington, the Hawaii project involved multiple Meridian-facilitated meetings among a wide diversity of stakeholders.


In both states, Meridian helped to convene steering committees to help with process design and implementation. Also, after the project was over, Meridian took part in a process of assessing  the demonstration projects to capture lessons learned.

Project Contacts