Thursday, April 19, 2012

Some Ideas Are Just Better Than Others

Even if the title is none too clever...

While the FDA is fending off a DHS plan to deliver anti-anthrax medication to every household in America, the USPS is going to test a simpler, smarter idea very plainly titled "Operation Medicine Delivery" by delivering 37,000 empty pill bottles to selected ZIP codes.  Here's the blurb from the ECHO (Emergency & Community Health Outreach) Team

"On May 6 a government exercise called "Operation Medicine Delivery" could be happening in your neighborhood and the neighborhoods of the people your organization serves - help people be informed!

On Sunday, May 6, U.S. Postal Service volunteers will make an unusual delivery of an empty pill bottle in selected Twin Cities' neighborhoods. People living in ZIP codes 55101, 55102, 55411, and 55422 (parts of Saint Paul, Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, Golden Valley, and Crystal) may receive an empty pill bottle in their mailbox - that's approximately 37,000 residences.

The pill bottle delivery is part of "Operation Medicine Delivery," an exercise designed to see how fast postal teams can deliver medicine to homes in a simulated public health emergency. ECHO's role in this event is to make sure that non-English speaking residents of these ZIP codes get the information they need to understand what the test is and why it is happening.

To help with this, ECHO has created materials in four languages (English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali) including:

An Educational Video: These 3-4 minute videos will help community members learn more about the exercise. They are streamable online for free and are available on DVD upon request by emailing These videos are ideal for playing in waiting rooms and other public spaces. View them here.

An Outreach Flier: These fliers can be used to hand out at events, hang on community bulletin boards, distribute at community markets, and more. They can also be emailed to the mailing lists, clients, and staff in PDF form. View/download here.

A 5x7 Inch Advertisement: These advertisements can be used in print publications, posted online, in church bulletins, and more. Due to space limitations, they contain less information than the fliers. View/download here.

Translated Webpages: These webpages contain the video explaining the exercise, the information that is on the flier, as well as links to additional resources. View here.

A Pre-Event Audio Message: This is an audio version of the postcard residents will receive the week of May 1 explaining the exercise. Postcard recipients will see translated sentences directing them to ECHO's pre-recorded phone line (888.883.8831). Upon calling, listeners have the option to have the postcard read to them in either English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Vietnamese, or Karen. Read scripts and listen to audio here.

Please help get this important information to households in these four ZIP codes! Spread the information in English and also pass along the translated materials to those that may better understand this information in their native language.

Contact to learn more about using these resources to communicate to the communities that your organization serves.

Thank you!

The ECHO Team"

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