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FDOH in St Lucie Protects St Lucie County Residents from Emergencies and Disasters through the National "Project Public Health Ready" Recognition Program

By Arlease Hall

July 17, 2017

(St. Lucie County) The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie (DOH-St Lucie) 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. DOH-St. Lucie 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-St. Lucie joins a cohort of over 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.

"We are proud to have been recognized again, by Project Public Health Ready for our high level of preparedness," said Clint Sperber, Health Officer and Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie. We will continue to improve our ability to quickly and effectively respond to any public health crisis in St Lucie County.”

PPHR recognition confirms that DOH-St. Lucie 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. “Local health departments play a critical role in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from public health emergencies,” said Dr. William Barnes, NACCHO Interim Executive Director & Chief Program Officer. “NACCHO commends St. Lucie 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.