Modified: January 13, 2017 2:57pm
From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein
Date: January 13, 2017
CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov
Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925
Erie County Receives National Recognition for Emergency & Disaster Preparedness
National “Public Health Ready” Project Cites ECDOH’s Capabilities
ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”) has been recognized by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (“NACCHO”) for its ability to plan for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies. ECDOH demonstrated these capabilities by meeting the comprehensive preparedness benchmarks required by Project Public Health Ready (“PPHR”), a unique partnership between NACCHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ECDOH joins a cohort of over 450 local health departments across the country that have been distinguished for excellence in preparedness through PPHR, either individually or as part of a region.
“We are proud to have been recognized by Project Public Health Ready for our high level of preparedness,” said Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health. “We will continue to improve our ability to quickly and effectively respond to any public health crisis in Erie County.”
“Erie County has proven itself to be a leader in emergency preparedness—in public health, in public safety, and in other disciplines,” stated County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “One of the most important factors in determining whether we succeed in responding to an emergency will be the actions of our citizens in planning, cooperating with authorities, and helping each other as Erie County residents are well known to do. As an ongoing initiative to promote community preparedness and readiness, Erie County recently introduced a free preparedness application for smart phones. I strongly encourage all Erie County residents to download our ReadyErie app which provides timely information that helps users and their loved ones plan for and respond to emergencies in a safe and organized manner.”
PPHR recognition confirms that ECDOH has a thorough and coordinated emergency response plan in place and that staff have the training to protect the health of the community during an emergency. Local health departments recognized by PPHR undergo a rigorous, peer review, evaluation to assess their ability to meet a set public health preparedness national standards.
These standards align with federal government requirements and other national best practices. Tracy Fricano Chalmers, Project Manager for the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness coordinated ECDOH’s preparation and coordination in order to achieve this national recognition.
PPHR recognition also requires health departments to collaborate with their state, local, and community partners to develop plans that account for all the constituents in their jurisdictions.
ECDOH works closely with Erie County Administration, Emergency Services, other County Departments, healthcare partners, numerous paid and volunteer first response agencies, state and local partners and community based organizations to collaboratively plan for and respond to public health emergencies.
“When disaster strikes, it affects local communities, and local health departments are a critical part of any first response to disease outbreaks, emergencies, and acts of terrorism,” said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, NACCHO Executive Director. “NACCHO commends the Erie County Department of Health for being a model of public health emergency preparedness.”
NACCHO, the voice of the 2,800 local health departments across the country, provides resources to help local health department leaders develop public health policies and programs to ensure that communities have access to vital programs and services that people need to keep them protected from disease and disaster. Its mission is to be a leader, partner, catalyst, and voice for local health departments in order to ensure the conditions that promote health and equity, combat disease, and improve the quality and length of all lives.
For more information on Project Public Health Ready, including recognized sites, project tools, and resources, visit http://www.naccho.org/PPHR.
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