The Worcester Division of Public Health has been actively involved in public health emergency preparedness planning since 2002 and in 2008, the City’s Division of Public Health established the Office of Health & Medical Preparedness. The office is responsible for educating the community on how to prepare for an emergency. For more information on preparedness and how to create a disaster plan click here.
In addition to providing education, the Office of Health and Medical Preparedness oversees many preparedness projects for both the City of Worcester and the 74 towns of the central Massachusetts region.The Office of Health & Medical Preparedness oversees the following:
- Preparedness Education
- Worcester Regional Medical Reserve Corps (WRMRC)
- Centers for Disease Control Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program (PHEP/PERP)
- Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response Hospital Preparedness Program (ASPR)
These programs integrate public health and medical programming with surveillance into the regional healthcare network of hospitals, community health centers and emergency response services in the event of a disaster. The collaboration creates an increased level of awareness, unification and communication among the major medical preparedness initiatives both locally and nationally. The Office of Health and Medical Preparedness continues to assess the health and medical needs of the community and build the capacity to respond to natural and/or man made disasters.
The Worcester Division of Public Health is integral in connecting agencies to develop regional emergency preparedness partnerships. Since 2002, the Worcester Division of Public Health has motivated collaboration between emergency management agencies, police departments, fire departments, emergency medical services, health departments, hospitals, health clinics, Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), American Red Cross (ARC), emergency dispatch centers and the Central Massachusetts Regional Homeland Security Advisory Council. These partnerships enhance planning, communication and inter-agency response in emergency preparedness initiatives as well as improving management of a local emergency or regional disaster.