El Paso County Public Health protects El Paso County from emergencies and disasters through national “Project Public Health Ready” recognition program

EPCPH recognized for ongoing commitment to preparedness since 2008

El Paso County, CO – El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH) 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. EPCPH 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. EPCPH joins a group of more than 520 local health departments (LHD) across the country—of the nation’s approximately 3,000 total LHDs—that have been distinguished for excellence in preparedness through PPHR, either individually or as part of a region. EPCPH is one of two local public health agencies in Colorado that have received PPHR recognition.

Originally recognized with PPHR in 2008—with successful re-recognitions in 2013, 2018 and most recently, 2023—EPCPH has demonstrated an outstanding and ongoing commitment to preparedness in earning this prestigious recognition for more than 15 years. In this most recent re-recognition, EPCPH was noted for its innovative approach to building out the Public Health Data and Analytics Office, in addition to acknowledgement of best practices for partnerships and stakeholder collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic response.

PPHR recognition confirms EPCPH has a thorough and coordinated emergency response plan and staff have the training to protect the health of the community during an emergency. Local health departments recognized by PPHR undergo a rigorous evaluation by peer review to assess their ability to meet a set of national standards for public health preparedness. These standards align with federal government requirements and other national best practices.

“This prestigious recognition further demonstrates our agency’s commitment to assure that public health preparedness is meeting national standards and best practices. Our public health workforce stands ready to respond to all-hazards incidents or events that pose an imminent or potential threat to the health, medical, and environmental needs of El Paso County residents,” added Janel McNair, program manager of EPCPH’s Emergency Preparedness and Response program.

PPHR recognition also requires health departments to collaborate with their state, local, and community partners to develop plans that account for all constituents in their jurisdictions. Building strong community partnerships is a critical component of maintaining readiness. In partnership with the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management (PPROEM), EPCPH’s Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) team facilitates the El Paso County Emergency Support Function-8 (ESF-8) Collaborative. The goal of this group is to build and maintain strong relationships with health and medical response partners and develop a collaborative approach to response activities during public health emergencies.

“Public health preparedness planning, response, and recovery begins at the local level. Local health departments play an essential role in creating healthy, resilient communities that can respond to and recover from disasters.” said Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive officer of NACCHO. “NACCHO commends EPCPH for being a model of public health emergency preparedness.”

For more information on EPCPH’s Emergency Preparedness and Response program, visit www.elpasocountyhealth.org.

For more information on Project Public Health Ready, including recognized sites, project tools, and resources, visit www.naccho.org/PPHR.


Michelle Beyrle

Public Health Information Officer

(cell) 719-244-1947

El Paso County, CO