OURAY COUNTY – As local health departments nationwide strive to protect the public from new and infectious diseases, bioterrorism, natural disasters, and other public health threats, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has recognized Ouray County Public Health Agency for its ability to respond to public health emergencies.
Ouray County Public Health Agency met the comprehensive preparedness benchmarks required by Project Public Health Ready (PPHR), a unique partnership between NACCHO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“This community is a leader in emergency preparedness,” said Ouray County Public Health Agency Director Cheryl Roberts, “in public health, in public safety, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Protection, Law Enforcement, Mountain Rescue and in other disciplines. Still, the most important factor in determining whether we succeed in responding to an emergency will be the actions of our citizens in advance planning, cooperating with authorities, and helping each other in a time of duress. We will continue to improve our ability to quickly and effectively respond to any public health crisis Ouray County.”
“NACCHO commends Ouray County Public Health Agency for being a model of public health emergency preparedness,” said Robert Pestronk, Executive Director of NACCHO. “The public health system is making great strides thanks to the good work of leaders in local public health preparedness such as Ouray County Public Health Agency.”
Local health departments recognized by PPHR undergo a thorough evaluation process by peer review. PPHR required Ouray County Public Health Agency to meet expectations in public health preparedness in three key areas: preparedness planning, workforce competency, and demonstration of all-hazards readiness through exercises or a response to a real event. The recognition confirms that Ouray County Public Health Agency has an emergency response plan in place, the plan is connected to other jurisdictional emergency response plans, agency staff members are trained, and the plan is exercised and used during public health emergencies.
The mission of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) 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.
For more information on all Project Public Health Ready recognized sites and project tools and resources, go to http://www.naccho.org/topics/emergency/pphr.cfm.