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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Regional Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness: An eight county initiative

Donald W. Rowe, PhD, University at Buffalo, School of Public Health and Health Professions, 3435 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214, 716-829-3434, dwrowe@buffalo.edu and William Dice, MD, Regional Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness, Erie County Health Department, 462 Grider Street, Buffalo, NY 14215.

Abstract: The tragedy of 9/11/01 changed public health forever and placed new and daunting emergency preparedness obligations on public health across the country. Few health departments had the resources and knowledge base to successfully fulfill their new roles and responsibilities. High expectations of public health response met face to face with grossly inadequate funding. How could individual county health departments do all that was asked? As individual county health departments the answer was clear, they could not do it alone. Through the aegis of the Western New York Public Health Alliance Inc., (Alliance) a unique not for profit public/private corporation, the eight county health departments pooled their resources and formed the Regional Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness (ROPHEP). With the authorization of each county government, one third of each counties CDC grant funds were set aside to form ROPHEP. With the encouragement of the NYS department of Health, the structure of ROPHEP was created, regional ROPHEP staff were hired, regional response plans drafted and regional exercises conducted. The Specialized Medical Assistance Response Team (SMART), a fully mobile, emergency physician based, medical disaster response unit expanded its coverage from one to eight counties. ROPHEP enhanced regional public health emergency response capacity, standardized equipment and supplies, minimized administrative staff and facilitated interagency participation. Cost efficiencies, reduced learning time, expanded coverage, inter and intra agency collaboration were all achieved. ROPHEP represents an innovative model for emergency preparedness response that can be adapted and applied across the country.

Learning Objectives: At the end of the session the participant will be able to

Keywords: Bioterrorism, Public Health Infrastructure

Related Web page: www.wnysmart.org

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Alliances, Partnerships, and Interorganizational Relationships for Health Improvement

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA