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Public Health Preparedness

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Public Health Departments play critical roles in preparing for and responding to health disasters. Examples of the roles they play include the following:
  • Facilitating Health Disaster Response Planning in communities (in partnership with emergency management agencies)
  • Enhancing emergency preparedness and response skills of health care providers, public health professionals, and others
  • Detecting and tracking diseases
  • Investigating outbreaks
  • Testing laboratory specimens to identify or confirm the cause of disease
  • Accessing and administering medications or vaccines to prevent disease
  • Offering guidance, support and coordination to health care providers and facilities
  • Managing limited health resources for the public good
  • Providing health information to the public
  • Providing clinical guidance to providers and responders
State Activities

The WV Bureau for Public Health has many efforts underway to enhance preparedness and response to health threats and disasters. These include maintenance of the state Public Health Threat Response Plan, enhancement of epidemiologic capacity (disease surveillance, outbreak investigation and control), and maintenance of a Bio-safety lab.

Level 3 Public Health Laboratory is capable of more accurately and rapidly identifying select disease agents, maintenance of a chemical laboratory to assess potential exposures, planning for receipt and rapid distribution of medications and supplies, development of Rapid Notification and other Information Technology systems, development of systems to better deliver training to learners in the field, provision of training and tools for emergency response and strengthening ways to get information and guidance to the public quickly and effectively.

Local Health Department Activities

Each Local Health Department (LHD) is working within their community and local health region to enhance health emergency preparedness and response capacity via a LHD Threat Preparedness Coordinator:

WV Map with Links to LHDs

LHDs are also working together within Public Health Preparedness Regions (also used as Regional Epidemiology Regions) as such:

WV Map of Public Health Preparedness Regions

Public Health Emergency Preparedness Resources: For additional information, contact Carolyn.S.Elswick@wv.gov.

 
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Center for Threat Preparedness | 505 Capitol Street, Suite 200, Charleston, WV 25301 | Ph: 304.558.6900 | Fx: 304.558.0464
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