Public Health Emergency Preparedness builds preparedness, response and recovery capacity to respond to existing and emerging threats to public health. Guided by specific deliverables established by the CDC’s annual Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement, activities include coordinated planning, drills & exercises, training, education, and other protective measures coordinated by the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator in collaboration with local, regional, state and federal partners. Planning under the Cooperative Grant has been in effect since 2003, as a result of 9/11. Since then, other national and world disasters have brought into focus other vulnerabilities our communities should plan for.
A major planning effort includes preparing for receipt and distribution of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The SNS is a federal cache of medical supplies and equipment we may need in a public health emergency. (http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/stockpile/stockpile.htm) During the H1N1 pandemic of ’09-‘10, the Orleans County Health Department ordered, took receipt of and distributed supplies and equipment from the federal cache. Vaccine was administered using a clinic procedure called a Medical Countermeasure Point of Distribution, or “POD”. Our community was fortunate that there was not a great deal of morbidity and mortality during that time. While we hope we never have a catastrophic communicable disease event, the H1N1 pandemic gave us valuable experience in planning for response to such an event. We continue to plan for our community and seek best methods of responding to a public health disaster.
Orleans County VALOR Medical Reserve Corps has been created to augment the public health workforce to respond to emergencies. This all-volunteer medical and non-medical corps will help fill the gap in personnel support during time of need. For information on how you can become a member of this critical community volunteer team, click the VALOR logo at the bottom of the page, or from the list to the right. You can follow Orleans County VALOR on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/OCVALORMRC.
Margaret (Peg) Wiley
Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
Orleans County VALOR Medical Reserve Corps Unit Director
Orleans County Public Health
14012 Route 31 West
Albion, NY 14411