Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) is an important aspect of community health. The capacity to respond quickly and effectively in a public health emergency can save lives and minimize the effects of a public health threat.
Emergency Preparedness includes collaborating with local emergency responders and community partners to plan for and respond to public health emergencies and threats in the GNPHR. Examples of public health emergencies include infectious disease outbreaks, acts of bioterrorism, and medical needs following other emergency events.
The PHEP program staff collaborate with regional partners to develop and maintain an all-hazards Regional Public Health Emergency Response Annex (RPHERA) that describes critical operational functions during an emergency for health and medical support functions in compliance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
PHEP staff work with key stakeholders to enhance the public health emergency response capabilities, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities. These functions and capabilities include:
|Community Preparedness||Public Information and Warning||Medical Surge|
|Community Recovery||Mass Care||Fatality Management|
|Medical Countermeasure Dispensing and Administration||Medical Material Management and Distribution||Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation|
|Information Sharing||Responder Safety and Health||Volunteer Management|
Jurisdictional Risk Assessment
Every five years, the GNPHN invites a variety of stakeholders and partners from across all community sectors from each town within the region to participate in a Jurisdictional Risk Assessment (JRA). This assessment aims to identify public health threats and hazards that make communities most vulnerable.
The latest JRA was conducted in January 2019 with participation from more than 50 community partners who were able to identify the top risks and mitigation strategies for the region. Partners will be tasked with creating a work plan for each selected mitigation strategy to implement over the next five years.
Greater Nashua Healthcare Emergency Response Coalition (HERC)
The Greater Nashua Healthcare Emergency Response Coalition (HERC) is a collaborative of public health and healthcare organizations, including public and private sector response partners, that collaborate to increase the capacity of the GNPHR to efficiently and effectively prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters that will potentially impact the Region’s healthcare infrastructure.
The Greater Nashua HERC has often been referred to as the model for healthcare coalitions for emergency preparedness and response in the State of New Hampshire and continues to provide technical assistance to organizations in need of exercise design and evaluation support, emergency planning, and continuity planning. It also provides healthcare, public health, and emergency services with a forum to collaborate on special projects, coordinate training and exercise opportunities, and share best practices and lessons learned.