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DOH - Volusia Recognized for Emergency Preparedness

By Holly Smith

January 18, 2017

Daytona Beach, Fla. - The Department of Health (DOH) in Volusia County 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. DOH-Volusia joins a cohort of more than 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.

"This award is evidence of the continual emergency preparedness efforts of this agency working with our partners," said DOH-Volusia Administrator Patricia Boswell. "Planning for various public health crises is a key role of the county health department. We take pride in this recognition of our level of preparedness."

PPHR recognition confirms that DOH-Volusia 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. DOH-Volusia coordinates preparedness efforts with Volusia County Emergency Management, Volusia County Emergency Medical Services, Volusia County Fire Services, local municipalities, schools and universities, hospitals, Daytona Beach International Airport, Volusia County Medical Reserve Corps and other key partners, Boswell said.

"When disaster strikes, it affects local communities, and local health departments are a critical part of any first response to disease outbreaks, emergencies, and acts of terrorism," said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, NACCHO Executive Director. "NACCHO commends the Department of Health in Volusia County for being a model of public health emergency preparedness."

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. Its mission is to be a leader, partner, catalyst, and voice for local health departments in order to ensure the conditions that promote health and equity, combat disease, and improve the quality and length of all lives.

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The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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