Reimagining a 21st Century Public Health System: Workshop Proceedings

Author(s): Third Plateau Social Impact Strategies

Release Date: May 15, 2023 | Last Updated Date: September 7, 2022

Executive Summary

On June 14th and 17th, 2022, the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) welcomed 35 leading public health experts to a virtual workshop on Reimagining a 21st Century Public Health System. Participants were asked to reflect on their experiences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and tasked with the challenge of producing actionable, holistic, and equity-centered recommendations for California’s policymakers.

Participants reflected on six focus areas, based on groups of interrelated activities that occur in response to an emerging infectious disease that threatens public health: 1) biosurveillance, outbreak detection, and early warning systems; 2) case reporting, contact tracing, and containment; 3) data infrastructure, analytics, modeling, and forecasting; 4) media and crisis communications; 5) dispensing and administering medical countermeasures; and 6) provisioning of care and treatment.

Across breakout discussions and focus areas, participants identified seven cross-cutting capabilities of an ideal public health system:
1. Cross-sector collaboration and partnerships
2. Enabling policy and legal environment
3. High quality data and data standards
4. Effective communication
5. Equity- and user-centered design
6. Skilled workforce and training
7. Culture of community trust and wellbeing
Action steps that would support these 7 capabilities, as well as other capabilities of an “ideal public health system” are enumerated within.

These workshop proceedings serve as an archive of the discussions. As such, the recommended action steps, descriptions, and statements within have been validated by workshop participants, including CCST’s COVID-19 Steering Committee, but have otherwise not been formally peer-reviewed, nor expanded upon.