Protecting home health care workers: A challenge to pandemic influenza preparedness planning

Sherry Baron, Kathleen McPhaul, Sally Phillips, Robyn Gershon, Jane Lipscomb

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The home health care sector is a critical element in a pandemic influenza emergency response. Roughly 85% of the 1.5 million workers delivering in-home care to 7.6 million clients are low-wage paraprofessionals, mostly women, and disproportionately members of racial and ethnic minorities. Home health care workers' ability and willingness to respond during a pandemic depends on appropriate communication, training, and adequate protections, including influenza vaccination and respiratory protection. Preparedness planning should also include support for child care and transportation and help home health care workers protect their income and access to health care. We summarize findings from a national stakeholder meeting, which highlighted the need to integrate home health care employers, workers, community advocates, and labor unions into the planning process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S301-S307
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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