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Press Releases - 7/27/06

Contact Jennifer Hudman
(301) 652-1558


Washington (July 27, 2006)

As local health departments nationwide work to protect the public from health emergencies, infectious disease outbreaks, and other public health threats, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has recognized 12 local health departments for their ability to respond to public health emergencies.

The agencies and regions, consisting of neighboring individual local health departments partnering together to address public health across jurisdictional lines, underwent reviews conducted by Project Public Health Ready, a unique partnership program between NACCHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"NACCHO commends these local health departments for being models of public health emergency preparedness," said Patrick Libbey, executive director of NACCHO. "The public health system still has work to do when it comes to preparedness, but we are making great strides thanks to the good work of agencies like those recognized by Project Public Health Ready."

To gain recognition, each site achieved goals in three key areas: preparedness planning; individual worker competence; and demonstration of readiness through drills and exercises. The recognition confirms that a local health departments has an all-hazards emergency response plan in place, the plan is appropriately connected to other emergency response plans, agency staff members are trained, and the plan is exercised and used during public health and other community emergencies.

The Local Health Departments recognized this year are:

Individual Departments

Kern County Department of Public Health—Bakersfield, CA

Stanislaus County Health Service Agency—Modesto, CA

Orange County Health Department—Orlando, FL

Palm Beach County Health Department—West Palm Beach, FL

DeKalb County Board of Health—Decatur, GA

Prince George's County Health Department—Upper Marlboro, MD

Independence City Health Department—Independence, MO

Houston Department of Health & Human Services—Houston, TX

Hennepin County Human Services Department—Minneapolis, MN

Regional Partnerships

East Central Health District–District 6— Augusta, GA

Northern Illinois Public Health Consortium—Waukegan, IL

Western New York Public Health Alliance, Inc.—Buffalo, NY

NACCHO previously recognized 26 other departments as Public Health Ready. For more information on all Project Public Health Ready sites and project tools and resources, click here.

"This project represents a critical element in improving emergency preparedness nationwide." said Libbey. "NACCHO encourages all local health departments to use the Project Public Health Ready criteria, standards and resources for preparedness planning in their own jurisdictions."

Local health departments recognized underwent an evaluation process that included reviews by three members of the Project Public Health Ready Review Council. The Council consists of local health officials and organizational liaisons from the Association of Schools of Public Health, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, National Association of Local Boards of Health, National Environmental Health Association, the National Public Health Leadership Development Network, and Public Health Foundation.



Jennifer Hudman
(301) 652-1558