Susan Smith, RN, MSN, Emergency Response Coordinator
Susan Smith, RN, MSN is the Emergency Response Coordinator that is responsible for overseeing the Ohio Department Heath Department Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) grant for both Scioto County and Portsmouth City Health Departments.
The PHEP Grant has been funded by the Ohio Department of Health since 2002. The goal of the program is to equip and prepare local health departments to better address bioterrorism, outbreaks of infectious disease, and other public health threats and emergencies.
Portsmouth City Health Department works closely with the regional public health coordinator, health departments in the south central Ohio region, and a regional epidemiologist to write an All-hazards Emergency Response Plan that, among other things, addresses:
• Community preparedness
• Interoperative communication
• Emergency public information and warning
• Epidemiology and surveillance
• Environmental health
• Resource management
• Continuity of operations and recovery from an incident
• Mass dispensing
• Community containment (isolation and quarantine)
• Mental/behavioral health
• Mass fatality management
• Pandemic response
• Functional needs
• Volunteer management
The capabilities within these plans are exercised, and plans are updated annually to help ensure readiness for actual events that would cause public health emergencies. Please take a moment to look at the base Emergency Response Plan.
Community preparedness is a big component of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness program. The Ohio Department of Health (www.odh.ohio.gov) and Centers for Disease Control – CDC (www.cdc.gov) are great sources of information for anyone wanting to be more prepared.