2022 Annual Report

21 Aiding Those Who Care for Others EH&S was a valuable resource to the Iowa Department of Health & Human Services (Iowa HHS) as it implemented respiratory protection program resources for long-term care facilities. EH&S assisted with the development of resources that facilities across the state can use to ensure employees who intend to wear respiratory protection are properly fit tested. Catch up fast: The COVID-19 response revealed a substantial need for fit testing in healthcare settings, especially in long-term care and assisted living facilities. Throughout the pandemic, the Iowa HHS discovered many facilities needed help understanding the fit testing process. With EH&S's help, the Iowa HHS created a centralized website to guide facilities through the process. ● Currently, there isn’t a fit tester certification, so anyone with the right resources can learn the process and help properly fit test the staff at their facility. The Iowa HHS designed the Respiratory Protection Program website to facilitate that process. ● EH&S provided resources and reviewed respiratory protection program templates, training presentations, and other resources to publish on the Iowa HHS's website. The connection: The Iowa HHS approached the Center for Food Security and Health (CFSPH) at the College of Veterinary Medicine (Vet Med) about developing a one-stop-shop website for fit testing for long-term care facilities. The CFSPH contacted EH&S for expertise in developing respiratory protection program resources. For many years, EH&S has worked closely with Vet Med to fit test employees. The existing relationship between these units cultivated the opportunity for EH&S to assist the CFSPH.■