Why Local Health Departments Should Participate in the Project Public Health Ready Program

Project Public Health Ready (PPHR), a criteria-based training and recognition program, helps local health departments (LHDs) develop core public health, emergency preparedness competencies. NACCHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established this intensive 18-month program to provide LHDs the structure to build training and preparedness capacities using a continuous quality improvement model. Read the short interview with PPHR Texas state lead Bryan Damis to learn about the benefits of PPHR.

Q: What are the benefit of participating in PPHR?
A:
I believe the greatest benefit of participating in PPHR is establishing a culture of continuous quality improvement within a health department. It’s one thing for LHD preparedness and response staff to follow the National Preparedness System but not every function of the department is trained on emergency preparedness. Participating in the PPHR program involves so many other parts of the health department; through this process, everyone buys in. The criteria is designed for LHDs to carefully and precisely evaluate their needs. The program will help address planning gaps, workforce competency and capacity to perform effectively during exercises and real incidents.

Q: What are the most surprising benefits?
A:
The benefits that most often surprise participating LHDs are the strengthened relationships with external partners and a deeper knowledge of their health department services as a whole, upon completion of the PPHR program.

Q: Would you recommend LHDs to participate in the PPHR program?
A: Absolutely. When urging LHDs to participate, I never tell them it isn’t a huge commitment or that it is easy. It takes a lot of time and energy and when done correctly, participation will involve a lot of moving parts. But in the end, LHDs that participate come out the other side with a strengthened preparedness program that is better suited to serve their community.

For more information about PPHR, visit www.naccho.org/pphr. To submit your intent to apply form for the 2017-2018 cycle, contact your State Lead. To find out who your State Lead is, contact NACCHO’s PPHR team via email at PPHR@naccho.org.

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