Nicole Errett

Nicole Errett Headshot



University of Washington School of Public Health

Professional Bio

Dr. Nicole Errett is a junior faculty member in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Washington School of Public Health. Her research interests and expertise focus on the use of public policy to enhance health outcomes during and after disaster.

Dr. Errett’s commitment to community-relevant, translatable research is grounded in nearly a decade of practical experience in public health and healthcare emergency preparedness and management. She served as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Policy and Legislative Director at the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, and the Evaluation and Assessment Manager at the Northwest Healthcare Response Network.

Dr. Errett holds a PhD in Health and Public Policy, a MSPH in Health Policy, and a BA in Public Health Studies from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. She completed her post-doctoral training in coastal community resilience at the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning in Vancouver, BC.

Project Description

When the immediate response to a disaster is over and the media goes home, affected communities are often left to grapple with negative impacts to their health and well-being. Disaster recovery strategies implemented by state governments have the potential to mitigate such impacts while fostering strategic health-promoting reinvestment and reconstruction. Yet, there is little understanding of whether and how state-level policies and implementation plans require health and well-being to be considered in the recovery process. This research will explore whether and how current state laws authorize recovery programs, as well as state plans that guide their implementation to require or encourage activities that enable health and well being.

This research will systematically identify state laws that authorize disaster recovery programs and analyze them to identify required interventions that enable health and well-being. State disaster recovery plans, or voluntary strategies that describe how states will implement recovery activities, will also be analyzed to describe proposed implementation of activities that enable health and well-being.

Why did you apply to New Connections

As a new junior faculty member, I am excited to build a research portfolio exploring the health impacts of disaster and the associated role of disaster recovery policy. I applied to New Connections to jump-start the development of my research portfolio, as well as provide professional development and networking opportunities to enhance my ability to conduct such research.

Research Interests

As a practitioner, I responded to disasters, including home fires, train derailments, and tornados, across neighborhoods with varied levels of social, economic, and health capital. Working directly with diverse communities – often on the worst day of their lives – made me acutely aware of the fact that social and health inequities are only exacerbated in disasters. These practical experiences have driven my current research interests and passions in the promotion of health, well-being, and equity post-disaster.
Disasters have both direct and indirect consequences to population health, as well as to public health and healthcare infrastructure. My overarching research interests are in exploring how policy can be used as a tool to minimize adverse health outcomes associated with disaster. I am committed to translational and interdisciplinary research that provides evidence on the use of policy to fortify resilient public health, health care, and safety systems and minimize adverse health outcomes of disasters.


Barnett, D. J., Errett, N. A., & Rutkow, L. (2013). A threat- and efficacy-based framework to understand confidence in vaccines among the public health workforce. Vaccines, 1(2), 77-87. doi:10.3390/vaccines1020077 [doi]

Barnett, D. J., Thompson, C. B., Errett, N. A., Semon, N. L., Anderson, M. K., Ferrell, J. L., et al. (2012). Determinants of emergency response willingness in the local public health workforce by jurisdictional and scenario patterns: A cross-sectional survey. BMC Public Health, 12, 164-2458-12-164. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-164 [doi]

Barnett, D. J., Thompson, C. B., Semon, N. L., Errett, N. A., Harrison, K. L., Anderson, M. K., et al. (2014). EPPM and willingness to respond: The role of risk and efficacy communication in strengthening public health emergency response systems. Health Communication, 29(6), 598-609. doi:10.1080/10410236.2013.785474 [doi]

Errett, N. A., Barnett, D. J., Thompson, C. B., Semon, N. L., Catlett, C., Hsu, E., et al. (2012). Assessment of psychological preparedness and emergency response willingness of local public health department and hospital workers. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, 14(2), 125-133.

Errett, N. A., Barnett, D. J., Thompson, C. B., Tosatto, R., Austin, B., Schaffzin, S., et al. (2013). Assessment of medical reserve corps volunteers’ emergency response willingness using a threat- and efficacy-based model. Biosecurity and Bioterrorism : Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, 11(1), 29-40. doi:10.1089/bsp.2012.0047 [doi]

Errett, N. A., Bowman, C., Barnett, D. J., Resnick, B. A., Frattaroli, S., & Rutkow, L. (2014). Regional collaboration among urban area security initiative regions: Results of the johns hopkins urban area survey. Biosecurity and Bioterrorism : Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, 12(6), 356-365. doi:10.1089/bsp.2014.0057 [doi]

Errett, N. A., Egan, S., Garrity, S., Rutkow, L., Walsh, L., Thompson, C. B., et al. (2015). Attitudinal determinants of local public health workers’ participation in hurricane sandy recovery activities. Health Security, 13(4), 267-273. doi:10.1089/hs.2015.0004 [doi]

Errett, N. A., Frattaroli, S., Barnett, D. J., Resnick, B. A., & Rutkow, L. (2015). The use of exercises to enhance and assess interlocal collaboration in preparedness: A qualitative analysis. Journal of Emergency Management (Weston, Mass.), 13(6), 499-508. doi:10.5055/jem.2015.0259 [doi]

Errett, N. A., Frattaroli, S., Resnick, B. A., Barnett, D. J., & Rutkow, L. (2014). Interlocal collaboration and emergency preparedness: A qualitative analysis of the impact of the urban area security initiative program. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, 9(4), 297-308. doi:10.5055/ajdm.2014.0181 [doi]

Errett, N. A., Thompson, C. B., Rutkow, L., Garrity, S., Stauss-Riggs, K., Altman, B. A., et al. (2016). Examining public health workers’ perceptions toward participating in disaster recovery after hurricane sandy: A quantitative assessment. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 10(3), 371-377. doi:10.1017/dmp.2016.23 [doi]

Harrison, K. L., Errett, N. A., Rutkow, L., Thompson, C. B., Anderson, M. K., Ferrell, J. L., et al. (2014). An intervention for enhancing public health crisis response willingness among local health department workers: A qualitative programmatic analysis. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, 9(2), 87-96. doi:10.5055/ajdm.2014.0145 [doi]

Marsteller, J. A., Wen, M., Hsu, Y. J., Bauer, L. C., Schwann, N. M., Young, C. J., et al. (2015). Safety culture in cardiac surgical teams: Data from five programs and national surgical comparison. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 100(6), 2182-2189. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.05.109 [doi]

Martinez, E. A., Thompson, D. A., Errett, N. A., Kim, G. R., Bauer, L., Lubomski, L. H., et al. (2011). Review article: High stakes and high risk: A focused qualitative review of hazards during cardiac surgery. Anesthesia and Analgesia, 112(5), 1061-1074. doi:10.1213/ANE.0b013e31820bfe8e [doi]

Rutkow, L., Vernick, J. S., Semon, N. L., Flowers, A., Errett, N. A., & Links, J. M. (2014). Translating legal research on mental and behavioral health during emergencies for the public health workforce. Public Health Reports (Washington, D.C.: 1974), 129 Suppl 4, 123-128. doi:10.1177/00333549141296S416 [doi]

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
  • Award Year: 2018
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Creating Healthier, More Equitable Communities
  • Project Name: Examining whether state laws and implementation plans for disaster recovery require or encourage activities that promote health and well-being

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