Indiana Incorporates AHRQ Mass Prophylaxis/Vaccination Staffing Model Into Emergency Preparedness Training Program

August 2005

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has incorporated the AHRQ-sponsored Weill Medical College of Cornell University's Mass Prophylaxis/Vaccination Staffing Model into the ISDH's overall state and county bioterrorism preparedness training program for local health departments.

As part of a video training program in February 2004, the ISDH staff used an anthrax scenario to demonstrate, step-by-step, the Staffing Model (later called the Bioterrorism and Epidemic Outbreak Response Model, or BERM). The ISDH distributed a "Note-Taker's Guide" to viewers via E-mail in advance of the training. Viewers used the guide as they watched the video presentation.

An informal survey of local health departments reveals that many have worked with the Staffing Model or the BERM as part of their planning for mass prophylaxis. "It appears that they used the AHRQ-funded model as a guide and then tailored estimates with functional analysis," according to an ISDH Field Staff member.

ISDH staffers believe that the model is especially helpful in fully describing the types of stations needed for a successful mass prophylaxis operation. One ISDH Field Staff member reports that "The suggested floor plan was helpful." But, she added, "Counties [in my District] simply do not have access to the numbers of volunteers suggested in the model." One limitation of the current version of the BERM model is that when it is run for smaller communities, staffing estimates may be artificially inflated due to rounding errors. The newer version of the model addresses this problem by changing the way small area dispensing clinics are modeled.

A streaming video of the training program, produced by ISDH with technical assistance from the Indiana Higher Education Telecommunications System, is available on the ISDH Web site ( The model is described by Gabriel Nunez in the fourth presentation of the program. (With a Media Player counter, advance to 44.43.) The "Note-Taker's Guide" is available by request to Leah Ingraham at

Impact Case Study Identifier: 
Multi-Center-05-08 (CDOM, CP3)
AHRQ Product(s): Research
Topics(s): Vaccination, Disaster Planning
Geographic Location: Indiana
Implementer: Indiana State Department of Health
Date: 08/01/2005


Hupert N, Cuomo J, Callahan MA, Mushlin AI, Morse SS. Community-based mass prophylaxis: A planning guide for public health preparedness. AHRQ Publication No. 04-0044, August 2004. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Rockville, MD. Contract No. 290-00-0013.


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