County Public Health Earns National Emergency Preparedness Recognition
Pinal County Public Health is Honored as “Public Health Ready”
FLORENCE, AZ – Local health departments nationwide strive to protect the public from new and infectious diseases, bio-terrorism, natural disasters and other public health threats. The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) just recognized the Pinal County Public Health Services District for its ability to respond to public health emergencies.
Pinal County Public Health met the comprehensive preparedness benchmarks required by Project Public Health Ready, a unique partnership between NACCHO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“This recognition puts Pinal County Public Health among the top public health departments in the nation,” Pinal County Public Health Director Tom Schryer said. “Out of 2001 health departments, only 198 have the Project Public Health Ready designation. The Board of Supervisors is to be commended for supporting a robust readiness program and allowing us to attract and retain a well-trained workforce that is prepared to respond to emergencies.”
“NACCHO commends Pinal County Public Health for being a model of public health emergency preparedness,” said Robert Pestronk, Executive Director of NACCHO. “The public health system is making great strides thanks to the good work of leaders in local public health preparedness such as Pinal County Public Health.”
Local health departments recognized by Project Public Health Ready undergo a thorough peer-review evaluation process. Project Public Health Ready required Pinal County Public Health to meet expectations in public health preparedness in three key areas: preparedness planning; workforce competency; and demonstration of all-hazards readiness through exercises or a response to a real event.
The recognition confirms that Pinal County Public Health has an emergency response plan in place, the plan is connected to other jurisdictional emergency response plans, agency staff members are trained and the plan is exercised and used during public health emergencies. The peer-review also examines the interconnected relationships between Pinal County Public Health and Emergency Management, the Sheriff’s Office, Environmental Health, hospitals, medical care providers, schools and other entities that may activate in an emergency.
Board Chairman Pete Rios and Supervisors David Snider and Bryan Martyn congratulated the staff at the July 27 board meeting. They also commended Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and Lou Miranda, Pinal County’s Emergency Manager, for the teamwork that made it possible to achieve national recognition.
For more information on all Project Public Health Ready recognized sites, visit http://www.naccho.org/topics/emergency/pphr.cfm.
Pinal County Public Health clinics offer: reproductive health exams, PAP/well-woman health examinations (including cervical cancer screening and breast exams), free childhood immunizations, nutritional counseling and other services geared toward healthy living. To learn more, go to http://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/Departments/PublicHealth. Public Health also conducts disease surveillance and investigation of outbreaks of communicable disease, including sexually transmitted diseases.