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Public Health protects El Paso County from emergencies and disasters through national “public health ready” recognition program

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 met 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 500 local health departments across the country that have been distinguished for excellence in preparedness through PPHR.

“I believe this honor reflects the tremendous effort, dedication, and collaboration of our staff here at El Paso County Public Health and our community partners, “ said Tom Gonzales, Deputy Director of El Paso County Public Health. “We will continue to improve our ability to quickly and effectively respond to any public health crisis in El Paso County with the support of our resilient community.”

PPHR recognition confirms that EPCPH 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 evaluation to assess their ability to meet national standards for public health preparedness.

PPHR recognition also requires public health agencies to collaborate with their state, local, and community partners to develop plans that account for all the constituents in their jurisdictions. Such collaboration includes the South Central Health Care Coalition, with members representing hospitals, offices of emergency management, EMS, behavioral health, and Public Health with a purpose to effectively respond to incidents that have a public health and medical impact.

“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. William Barnes, Interim Executive Director & Chief Program Officer. “NACCHO commends El Paso County Public Health for being a model of public health emergency preparedness.”

For more information on El Paso County Public Health’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 http://www.naccho.org/PPHR .

MavaMarie Cooper
Health Communication Coordinator
(719) 578-3198 office; (719) 238-1652 cell
El Paso County, CO