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Health Department Emergency Preparedness Planner

City of New Orleans AmeriCorps VISTA Program - Office of Mayor LaToya Cantrell
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The City of New Orleans VISTA program is implemented by the Office of Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the New Orleans Health Department. The City is seeking passionate individuals to build capacity to break the cycle of poverty and empower our community. The New Orleans Health Department's mission is to protect, promote and improve the health of all where we live, learn, work and play. We achieve this with community-based initiatives focused on several issues, including environmental health, behavioral health, and emergency preparedness. We partner with other government agencies, non-profit organizations, and community leaders throughout New Orleans to ensure our work reaches all residents.

This VISTA Service Year is dedicated to improving the ability of the Health Department to meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents during emergencies. This will include planning for and responding to emergencies in addition to outreach and engagement with elderly residents and individuals with severe medical needs.

This project is an excellent opportunity to be on the forefront of public health emergency preparedness during a once in a lifetime pandemic. Your work will help build on the hurricane planning that has been done since Hurricane Katrina and will adapt these plans to address current needs caused by COVID-19. Not only will you learn the inner workings of City government, but also how to engage with the community to create lasting change.

Service Activities

Throughout one year of service, the VISTA member will work with the New Orleans Health Department to:

-Recruit and onboard new public health and medical volunteers to the New Orleans Medical Reserve Corps.

-Develop and lead emergency training for staff and volunteers.

-Recreate the City’s Special Needs Registry and identify vulnerable residents to be a part of the registry.

-Conduct emergency planning processes to update existing emergency plans including incorporating changes from COVID-19 in hurricane season plans.

Community Need Addressed

The CNO VISTA Program supports City Hall by implementing sustainable capacity building projects to increase the effectiveness of each department.

Position Outcomes

Our VISTA members help the City strengthen existing services and provide more services for underserved and disproportionately impacted communities.


Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Relocation allowance (if applicable), Student loan forbearance

Education Benefits

College Degree


Skills you will gain

Professional Development

Competencies You Will Develop

Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Write cleary and effectively
Creativity & Problem Solving
Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them
Carefully consider which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job, Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Set goals
Be pleasant, courteous, professional and respectful when dealing with internal and external customers or clients, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization
  • Activity Types Office Activities, Professional Activities
  • Focus Areas Community & Nonprofit Development, Disaster
  • Length of Service 12 Months
  • Education Requirements Some College
  • Placement Individual Placement
  • Service Setting Local Government Agency
  • Weekly Training Hours 1

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