Health and Family Services Cabinet
Kentucky Health Departments Receive National Award for Emergency Prerparedness
Two of only seven agencies in U.S. honored in 2006 as "Public Health Ready"
The Barren River District Health Department and the Monroe County Health Department were two of only seven local health departments and regional partnerships nationwide to receive the "Public Health Ready" designation in 2006. This status recognizes their readiness to face bioterrorism events, new epidemics, natural disasters and other public health emergencies.
“We are very pleased that these two public health organizations from Kentucky were nationally recognized as being leaders in emergency preparedness,” said William D. Hacker, M.D., commissioner for public health and acting undersecretary for health at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. "Recognition from Project Public Health Ready provides us assurance that these agencies are completing the appropriate steps towards improving local public health preparedness.”
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) honored the agencies at the annual NAACHO conference held last week in Washington, D.C. as part of Project Public Health Ready, conducted by NACCHO with support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The achievement demonstrates excellence in three areas: planning for emergency preparedness, developing a competent workforce, and conducting exercises that simulate emergencies and give communities a chance to practice and evaluate their response. Each applicant has to meet all of the Project Public Health Ready requirements to receive this recognition. Applications were reviewed by a panel of local health officials, local public health agency staff, and representatives of a number of national public health organizations in addition to NACCHO.
“By receiving this award, our community has been proven as a leader in emergency preparedness. However, the most important factor in determining whether we succeed in responding to an emergency will be the actions of our citizens in advance planning, cooperating with authorities, and helping each other in times of duress,” said Dennis Chaney, director of the Barren River District Health Department.
Monroe County Health Department Director Rebecca Tandy said, “We are very proud that our local health professionals have achieved this honor, but we must continually stay alert to the need of improving our capability to respond to any type of public health threat.”
Also receiving recognition were local health departments and regional partnerships based in: Benton Harbor, Michigan; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Flagstaff, Arizona; Hartford, Connecticut; and Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.
A total of only 134 health departments have received Project Public Health Ready recognition since NACCHO began issuing the honors three years ago. There are approximately 3,000 local health departments in the United States.
For more information on Project Public Health Ready, including a complete listing of all recognized sites, visit www.naccho.org/topics/emergency/pphr.cfm.