Public Health Week & AZPHA Partners’ Spotlight: Emergency Preparedness

Each Spring the American Public Health Association celebrates National Public Health Week. We’re joining them locally by highlighting some of the work being done by our Organizational Members that focus on some of the areas related to this year’s theme: Protecting, Connecting and Thriving: We Are All Public Health

Public health is more than just health care. It’s the steps we take to make sure our neighborhoods and environment are free from pollution. It’s making sure our food and water are safe to eat and drink.

It’s also the relationships we foster in our communities. We’re all interconnected. When we all come together to support public health, all of us — individuals, families, communities, and the public health field — can achieve the goals of public health


Theme 4 – Public Health Preparedness

Most public health emergencies are unpredictable. Disease Epidemics, Extreme WeatherBioterrorism, outbreaks of new viruses and unpredictable patterns of spread are all challenges we face in emergency public health.

Others, like extreme heat in the desert are more predictable.

AZPHA organizational member Maricopa County Department of Public Health is the primary agency responsible for protecting the health and wellness of residents and visitors during a public health emergency in their county.

  • They create emergency operating plans that guide response to public health emergencies: See their new report of heat-related deaths in 2023 and their evaluation of the effectiveness of a cooling centers investigated what brought people to cooling centers and the barriers that kept people from using them. 
  • Develop and support partnerships with the healthcare community, government agencies and private business
  • Test our plans through drills and exercises
  • Coordinate and run sites that will serve as emergency points of dispensing (PODs) where we will hand out life-saving medication during a large public health emergency 
  • Recruit and train volunteers to aid in a public health emergency. To join our Medical Reserve Corps volunteer program to assist in a Public Health emergency, JOIN HERE.
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