El Paso Department of Public Health recognized by national group for emergency planning

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) 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.

The Department 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.  El Paso joins a cohort of nearly 450 local health departments across the country that have been distinguished for excellence in preparedness through PPHR, either individually or as part of a region.

“Receiving this type of recognition shows our commitment to being prepared for large-scale emergencies and public health threats and helping make sure our residents are well equipped,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “I am extremely proud of the year-long effort which included planning and exercises put forth by our preparedness staff and partners.”

PPHR recognition confirms that DPH 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 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.

PPHR recognition also requires health departments to collaborate with their state, local, and community partners to develop plans that account for all the constituents in their jurisdictions. DPH Emergency Preparedness Program strengthened existing partnerships with the City/County Office of Emergency Management, Environmental Services Department and developed new partnerships with the El Paso County Medical Examiner, American Red Cross, and Emergence Health Network, just to name a few.

“Project Public Health Ready has allowed DPH to strengthen our ability in all aspects of preparedness, ultimately ensuring the safety of our community. My team is honored to have worked for and received such a prestigious recognition.” said Diane Huerta, Public Health Preparedness Planner.

NACCHO, the voice of the 2,800 local health departments across the country, provides resources to help local health department leaders develop public health policies and programs to ensure that communities have access to vital programs and services that people need to keep them protected from disease and disaster.

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