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What the County is Doing?
The PHEPR Program identifies and develops procedures to enhance disease surveillance and public health response to biological and chemical threats as well as natural disasters. In addition, program staff conduct epidemiological investigations as appropriate to safeguard public health, actively collaborate with state and federal agencies, emergency management, law enforcement, first responders, medical facilities and tribal agencies in developing response plans, present training and educational programs and provide information to the public about biological and chemical agents and events which may impact the health of county residents.

The PHEPR Program has several focus areas including but not limited to:
  • Planning and Readiness Activities

  • Disease Surveillance and Enhancement
    The Pinal County PHEPR program is working with Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to provide current disease surveillance information. Information will be collected from all local and state health agencies and monitored to provide early alerts of unusual disease activity.

  • Risk Communications
    The PHEPR Program is also developing a risk communication plan that will keep the public informed during a public health emergency such as a bioterrorism event. The plan includes various ways to provide consistent information to the media and public in order to share valuable information and address concerns. Activities include:

    • Development and Distribution of Public Service Announcements
    • Development of risk communication plan
    • Establishing relationships with various media outlet contacts
    • Education and Training
       
  • Public Information

  • Training and Education
    The PHEPR Program is continuously updating training resources that can be used to educate Public Health employees, medical professionals and the public. Education programs are also supplied by the State and CDC via webcast and satellite broadcasts. These educational materials play a critical role in preparing for public health emergencies. Activities include:

    • Creation of various training materials including disaster desktop exercises
    • Public Health Training Network (PHTN)
    • Creation of a training library for emergency preparedness and response materials
       
  • Health Alert Network (HAN)
    A nationwide communications structure is being developed as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Program.
    The Health Alert Network will be used to communicate between health departments at the county, state and federal level. It provides a way to send out Public Health Alerts, distance learning materials, and disease surveillance information in real time. Arizona’s implementation of the Health Alert Network (AZHAN) is called the Secure Integrated Response Electronic Notification (SIREN) System.