Public Health Emergency Preparedness Priority

Background

From natural disasters to terrorism, crises have the potential to negatively impact public health.

From natural disasters to terrorism, all crises have the potential to negatively impact public health. The goal of Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) is to increase a community’s ability to respond in an efficient manner to incidents in order to preserve health and wellbeing of the population. There are 15 functional areas that encompass PHEP as outlined in the CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities.

PHEP relies on the whole community in order to advance preparedness. For example, the community preparedness and volunteer management capabilities aim to educate, train, and equip everyday citizens to respond to disasters. On the other hand, the mass care and medical surge capabilities involve engaging healthcare providers, medical facilities, and first responders to prepare for activating an emergency disaster shelter or alternate care site.

PHEP Workgroup

Public Health Emergency Preparedness is a top priority for the Greater Nashua Public Health Region (GNPHR) Community Health Improvement Plan 2022.

Regional Emergency Management Directors (EMDs) have been convened as the workgroup to address the identified PHEP priorities.  In conjunction with the larger Preparedness Coordinating Committee (PCC), these objectives will be addressed. For more information or to get involved, click the button below.

Main takeaways from the PHEP CHA 2020 page 

• Fewer than 12% of households in Nashua have a written disaster plan.

• 97.8% of Nashua households have a smoke detector.

• 19% of Nashua households feel well prepared to handle an emergency.

• 40% of U.S. adults don't consider themselves prepared but plan to prepare for emergencies and  68% of U.S. adults have set aside some money for an emergency.

For a full look at Public Health Emergency Preparedness in Greater Nashua, check out the PHEP 2020 Community Health Assessment page here

Assets & Gaps Assessment

About Respondents

The Public Health Emergency Preparedness Assets & Gaps Assessment was sent out to community partners in May 2021 and closed in August 2021. 

There were 17 PHEP agencies from the Greater Nashua Public Health Region that responded to this assessment. 

PHEP Priority Areas

Community partners were asked to rank the priority areas that they believed were most important for the Greater Nashua Public Health Region to work on. The rank of 10 corresponds to the highest priority area. 

Collectively, the main priorities under PHEP include:

1) Improving the regional communications structure

2) Increasing public health planning, exercising and           training among various sectors

3) Strengthening the  working relationship between           the region (GNPHR) and the State of New                             Hampshire

PHEP Programs & Services

Community partners were asked to identify what existing PHEP programs their organization currently has in order to avoid duplication of efforts. Partners were also asked what PHEP services are needed in the Greater Nashua Public Health Region. 

Barriers

In an open response question, community partners were asked to identify barriers to receiving PHEP services. Partners were also asked if they had adequate staff available to run their PHEP programs. 

Health Equity

In an open response question, community partners were asked to discuss how their organization addresses issues of health equity, access to care and social determinants of health. Partners were also asked what specific efforts their organization makes to reach the Black, Indigenous and other Peoples of Color (BIPOC) population.

At risk populations will be most impacted by emergencies and that includes populations with historically limited access to healthcare. [We should] evaluate the largest at risk populations within the community and identify what specialized resources and services the region can provide beyond state level capabilities.

-- Community Organization

Strategic Map

The Strategy Map below links to detailed objectives, data and programming details for Public Health Emergency Preparedness.  Click on an objective to see the details about who is leading programming efforts and contact information, so your organization can get involved.

Summary

Emergencies and disasters all begin and end at the local level. When we all prepare together, we develop a more resilient community. Aligning regional CHIP priorities with established Public Health Network Services' goals, objectives and strategies permits the region to strengthen social vulnerability factors, deepen social networks, and work collaboratively to ensure the region is safely positioned for unexpected disasters. Ongoing funding through the Public Health Network (PHN) system is key to the continued successful integration of Public Health Emergency Preparedness in the 2022 CHIP.

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