Kalamaoo County

Public Health Preparedness


The Kalamazoo County Office of Public Health Preparedness works to increase the ability of Health and Community Services to respond to public health emergencies. Current program objectives fall under five focus areas: public health planning, epidemiology, professional training and development, risk communications and information dissemination, and improvement of communications technology.

Preparedness Planning and Readiness Assessment

  • Establish a process for strategic leadership, direction, coordination and assessment of activities to ensure local readiness, interagency collaboration, and preparedness for bioterrorism, other outbreaks of infectious disease, and other public health threats and emergencies.

  • Conduct integrated assessments of public health system capacities related to bioterrorism, other infectious disease outbreaks, and other public health threats and emergencies to aid and improve planning, coordination, and implementation.

  • Respond to emergencies caused by bioterrorism, other infectious disease outbreaks, and other public health threats and emergencies through the development, exercise, and evaluation of a comprehensive public health emergency preparedness and response plan.

  • Effectively manage the CDC Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), should it be deployed-translating SNS plans into firm preparations, periodic testing of SNS preparedness, and periodic training for entities and individuals that are part of SNS preparedness.

Surveillance and Epidemiology Capacity

  • Rapidly detect a terrorist event through a highly functioning, mandatory reportable disease surveillance system, as evidenced by ongoing timely and complete reporting by local jurisdictions, especially of illnesses and conditions possible resulting from bioterrorism, other infectious disease outbreaks, and other public health threats and emergencies.

  • Rapidly and effectively investigate and respond to a potential terrorist event as evidenced by a comprehensive and exercised epidemiologic response plan that addresses surge capacity, delivery of mass prophylaxis and immunizations, and pre-event development of specific epidemiologic investigation and response needs.

Communications and Information Technology

  • Ensure effective communication connectivity among public health departments, healthcare organizations, law enforcement organizations, public officials, and others (e.g. hospitals, physicians, pharmacies, fire departments, 911 Centers).

  • Ensure a method of emergency communication for participants in public health emergency response that is fully redundant with standard Telecommunications (telephone, e-mail, Internet, etc.).

  • Ensure the ongoing protection of critical data information systems and capabilities for continuity of operations.

Communicating Health Risks and Health Information Dissemination

  • Provide needed health/risk information to the public and key partners during a terrorism event by establishing baseline information about the current communication needs and barriers within individual communities, and identifying effective channels of communication for reaching the general public and special populations during public health threats and emergencies.

  • Identify, develop and improve crisis and emergency-risk communication planning with respect to the needs of special populations, cultural and psychological aspects of crisis communication, and communication barriers to effective public health response during public health emergencies including terrorism, infectious disease outbreak and other public health emergencies.

Education and Training

  • Ensure the delivery of appropriate education and training to key public health professionals, infectious disease specialists, emergency department personnel, and other healthcare providers in preparedness for and response to bioterrorism, other infectious disease outbreaks, and other public health threats and emergencies, either directly or through the use (where possible) of existing curricula and other sources, including Centers for Public Health Preparedness, other schools of public health, schools of medicine, other academic medical centers, CDC training networks, and other providers.

Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services is committed to providing equitable, culturally competent care to all individuals served, regardless of race, age, sex, color, national origin, religion, height, weight, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

Links to external sites do not constitute endorsements by Kalamazoo County.