PHASYS is a multidisciplinary research group organized in an Administrative Core and four project arms. The research project arms represent two parallel and complementary approaches to researching public health preparedness and adaptive response: original research on criteria and metrics from Project Arms 1 and 2; and agent-based systems modeling from Project Arms 3 and 4. The criteria/metrics project arms will produce indicators for performance and adaptive response. The modeling project arms will capture these indicators, identify their interdependencies, and predict how measured variations of quality and potency of the indicators can affect the effectiveness and efficiency of emergency response.
The four inter-dependent and thematically linked research project arms of PHASYS are:
- Project Arm 1, Adaptive System Indicators (ASIs) - develop and test criteria and metrics for field-response performance, including the critical aspect of risk communication with vulnerable populations.
- Project Arm 2, Legal & Ethical Indicators - develop and test legal and ethical standards that act as either facilitators or barriers to adaptive response behavior.
- Project Arm 3, Preparedness Adaptive Response Model (PARM) - buildand test models that demonstrate how the public health system and its critical components adapt to the demands of emergencies and how results may change under different conditions and assumptions.
- Project Arm 4, Decision-Support System Model - buildand test a model that uses criteria and metrics and delivers real-time information for decision-support in emergency response to public health system personnel.
In addition, there are three pilot studies that have been or are currently being supported by the PHASYS Core:
- H1N1 Influenza: Attitudes towards Vaccines and Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Drugs—A National Survey – strengthen the understanding of how the public may perceive risk in the H1N1 pandemic and what factors would affect their willingness to accept and comply with treatment and other recommendations
- Modeling Behavior Change in the H1N1 Pandemic – examine how individuals adopt precautionary health behaviors in the face of the H1N1 flu pandemic
- Geospatial Area and Information Analyzer (GAIA), a Visualization Tool for Understanding Emergency Preparedness through Geospatial Analysis - develop an interactive, Web-based application of the National Association of County and City Health Officials 2008 Survey of Local Health Departments data to provide a dynamic information-based presentation for public health officials