Nicole Errett

Lecturer, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences (Primary department)
Dr. Nicole Errett is a Lecturer in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Washington School of Public Health. Her research interests and expertise are in 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, an MSPH in Health Policy, and a BA in Public Health Studies from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. She completed post-doctoral training in coastal community resilience at the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning in Vancouver, BC.

Contact Information

Office: HSB 561E
Box: 357234
1959 NE Pacific Street
Seattle, WA 98195-

Research Interests

  • Public health emergency preparedness, health impacts of disaster; community resilience; public health policy; healthcare emergency preparedness; public health practice

Teaching interests

ENVH 406/506: Disasters and Public Health


PhD, Health and Public Policy, Johns Hopkins University, 2014
MSPH, Health Policy, Johns Hopkins University, 2011


Dr. Errett’s research projects examine how public policy solutions can be used to minimize health impacts of disasters. Current projects include:

Building back “better”: How do state policies and plans enable health and well being in post-disaster recovery?
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 wellbeing. 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 that authorize recovery programs and state plans that guide their implementation 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 wellbeing. 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 wellbeing.

Dr. Errett works with undergraduate and graduate students on topics related to public health preparedness and response. Examples of topics of mentored student projects include:
• Social media use during the 2016 Louisiana flooding event
• Print-based media communication to non-English speaking populations during heat and wildfire events
• Barriers and facilitators to opiate treatment program preparedness in King County
• Role of community health boards in building community resilience
Selected Publications

Errett NA, Thompson CB, Rutkow L, Garrity S, Stauss-Riggs K, Altman BA, Walsh L, Freeman JD, Balicer RD, Schor KW, Barnett DJ. Examining workers’ perceptions toward participating in disaster recovery after Hurricane Sandy: A Quantitative Assessment. Disaster Med Public Health Prep 2016;1-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Errett NA, Egan S, Garrity S, Rutkow L, Walsh L, Thompson CB, Strauss-Riggs K, Altman B, Schor K, Barnett DJ. Attitudinal Determinants of Local Public Health Workers' Participation in Hurricane Sandy Recovery Activities. Health Secur 2015; 13(4):267-73.

Errett NA, Frattaroli S, Resnick, B, Barnett DJ, Rutkow, L. Interlocal collaboration and emergency preparedness: a qualitative analysis of the impact of the Urban Area Security Initiative program. Am J Disaster Med 2014;9(4):297-308.

Errett NA, Bowman C, Barnett DJ, Resnick, B, Frattaroli S, Rutkow L. Regional Collaboration Among Urban Area Security Initiative Regions: Results of the Johns Hopkins Urban Area Survey. Biosecur Bioterror 2014;12(6):356-65.

Rutkow L, Vernick JS, Semon NL, Flowers A, Errett NA, Links JM. Translating legal research on mental and behavioral health during emergencies for the public health workforce. Public Health Rep 2014;129(Suppl 4):123-128.

Harrison KL, Errett NA, Rutkow L, Thompson CB, Anderson MK, Ferrell JL, Freiheit JM, Hudson JM, Koch MM, McKee M, Meija-Echeverry A, Spitzer J, Storey D, Barnett DJ. An intervention for enhancing public health crisis response willingness among local health department workers: A qualitative programmatic analysis. Am J Disaster Med 2014;9(2):87-96.

Barnett DJ, Thompson CB, Semon NL, Errett NA, Harrison KL, Anderson MK, Ferrell JL, Freiheit JM, Hudson R, McKee M, Mejia-Echeverry A, Spitzer J, Balicer RD, Links JM, Storey JD. EPPM and Willingness to Respond: The Role of Risk and Efficacy Communication in Strengthening Public Health Emergency Response Systems. Health Commun 2014;29(6):598-609.

Errett NA, Barnett DJ, Thompson CB, Tosatto R, Austin B, Schaffzin S, Ansari A, Semon NL, Balicer RD, Links JM. Assessment of medical reserve corps volunteers’ emergency response willingness using a threat- and efficacy-based model. Biosecur Bioterror. 2013; 11(1):29-40.

Errett NA, Barnett DJ, Thompson CB, Semon NL, Catlett C, Hsu E, Gwon H, Balicer RD, Links JM. Assessment of psychological preparedness and emergency response willingness of local public health department and hospital workers. Int J Emerg Ment Health 2012; 14(2):125- 33.

Barnett DJ, Thompson CB, Errett NA, Semon NL, Anderson MK, Ferrell JL, Freiheit JM, Hudson R, Koch MM, McKee M, Mejia-Echeverry A, Spitzer J, Balicer RD, Links JM. Determinants of emergency response willingness in the local public health workforce by jurisdictional and scenario patterns: a cross-sectional survey. BMC Public Health  2012; 12: 164.

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