The Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP) is the emergency preparedness and response arm of the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH). The office serves to protect the health of Michigan citizens before, during and after an emergency through the integration of public health and medical preparedness initiatives and by leveraging diverse partnerships. The office maintains a dual role in both preparedness planning and in emergency response. These activities encompass all hazards, including natural and man-made disasters, acts of bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks and other emergencies that impact the health of the public.
Integration of Public Health and Medical Preparedness
Established in 2002 after September 11 and the anthrax attacks, OPHP was created to coordinate both public health and medical preparedness and response activities for the State. Unlike many other states, in Michigan, the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) and the Healthcare Preparedness Program (HPP) programs have been integrated from the beginning, working in concert to strengthen Michigan's preparedness and response capacity. As of July 1, 2012, PHEP and HPP programs will be federally aligned and funded exclusively through a single cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Program activities will be guided by a national set of Public Health and Medical Preparedness Capabilities.
Predicated on the belief that strong partnerships are the golden thread woven throughout all of our preparedness achievements, OPHP has established and continues to strengthen partnerships throughout the Department of Community Health and with state, local, tribal and community stakeholders.
Preparedness Planning Initiatives
PHEP and HPP program activities are encompassed within several planning areas including medical surge planning, pharmaceutical cache development, and communication, education & outreach. For information on specific PHEP and HPP initiatives that address these planning areas, visit the public health and healthcare planning sections from the homepage.
During public health emergencies, MDCH becomes the lead agency in the response under Emergency Support Function #8 (Health & Medical) of the National Response Framework. OPHP maintains the Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC), which (when activated) serves as the coordination center for MDCH, working in direct collaboration with the State Emergency Operations Center. The CHECC provides real-time public health information relative to the incident, subject matter expertise, and coordinates the public health and healthcare response with local, regional and other state agency partners.
The Guardian of Public Health
The Office of Public Health Preparedness compiles and distributes a newsletter, The Guardian of Public Health, on a monthly or twice-monthly basis. The newsletter contains important information in the following public health areas: preparedness and planning, exercises, pandemic preparedness, communications, surveillance, hospital preparedness, training and education, upcoming events, regional news, and other news.
Public Health & Medical Preparedness:
A Decade of Achievement in Michigan
September is National Preparedness Month. 2011 marked the 10-year anniversary of the tragic events of September 11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks that rocked the nation and forever changed the face of public health emergency preparedness. Over the last decade many advancements and achievements in emergency preparedness and response have taken place within the state, local health departments and healthcare systems across Michigan. In honor of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, the Michigan Department of Community Health, Office of Public Health Preparedness developed a commemorative publication to showcase some of these successes.