DHD4 formed the Emergency Preparedness Program in response to the
Anthrax attacks of 2002. At that time the CDC and MDCH realized
that Public Health Departments across the country had no plans in place
for Chemical, Biological or Nuclear attacks. The Office of Public
Health Preparedness was formed as a division of the MDCH. Funding for
the Emergency Preparedness Program comes through the CDC then to OPHP
and then out to the local health departments.
In 2002 local
health departments began receiving and spending monies from the CDC on
many infrastructure improvements that would allow it to respond to
Public Health Emergencies. Some of these infrastructure purchases
included 800 MHz radios for all four offices, generators, vaccine
refrigerators and other essential emergency response items. Along with
purchasing equipment, the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator has been
tasked with creating All Hazard Plans that are focused on public health
response in the four counties served by DHD4. The
Emergency Preparedness program also assists in training health
department employees and other agencies in the NIMS compliant Incident
Command Management systems. A very important aspect of the Emergency
Preparedness program is the Strategic National Stockpile or SNS which
is a federal asset that would be sent to the local health department in
the event of a public health emergency.
Preparedness Coordinator program also interfaces with the Michigan
State Police Emergency Management Homeland Security program. In
addition to these duties the Emergency Preparedness program works
closely with Region 7 Hospital Bio-terrorism Emergency Preparedness
programs and exercises. All agencies in Region 7 collaborate on various
equipment and training projects to make sure that monies are being
spent wisely for the various preparedness projects.
Emergency Preparedness Program also supports positions at the health
department such as the Public Information Officer, Public Health
Nursing, Sanitarian, and IT services. Training an exercises are
coordinated with many of the groups mentioned above so when and if the
need arises all agencies can respond rapidly to any event.
recently DHD4 was heavily involved in the planning and implementation
of the H1N1 mass vaccination program. As this program ends planning for
other public health responses continue.