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Cabarrus Magazine

Cabarrus Health Alliance Receives 'Project Public Health Ready' Designation

Feb 27, 2018 07:05PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Courtesy of the Cabarrus Health Alliance Facebook page.

Recently, the Cabarrus Health Alliance (CHA) was recognized for their emergency preparedness by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). CHA has had an active Public Health Emergency Preparedness program for over a decade.  

According to a CHA Facebook post, "CHA is the first local health department in the state of NC to receive the 'Project Public Health Ready' designation from NACCHO."

"The staff worked diligently to plan for the ‘what if scenarios’ related to outbreaks and bioterrorism events," CHA's Chief Operating Officer Erin Shoe told us. "The Project Public Health Ready program helps to designate local public health departments across the nation who have illustrated a thorough and deliberate process to prepare. These local health departments are willing to put their plans through a rigorous evaluation system by panels of experts. It’s quite the process!"

The CHA demonstrated these qualities by doing an exhaustive update of its entire Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program (PHEP) and setting the foundation for a preparedness planning model that is built on continuous quality improvement, according to CHA's Public Health Preparedness Program Manager Darnell Boyd. The qualities of such a model include policies and procedures for the cyclical review, testing and revision of public health emergency preparedness plans. 

The end product of such an effort was the development of a more thorough and up-to date Public Health Emergency Operations Plan, Boyd continued. This plan and related planning tools and techniques were reviewed and found to be in line with national public health emergency preparedness best practices; as established by the NACCHO.

CHA joins about 500 other health departments from across the country to receive such a designation through PPHR, and it is no small feat. 

“I’ve been a Project Public Health Ready reviewer for NACCHO for many years and understand the tremendous amount of work required to receive this designation. Once again, CHA and its partners are leading public health in North Carolina” shared Dr. William Pilkington, CEO and Public Health Director at CHA.

Though there was no major organization-wide celebration, Boyd was recognized in their agency-wide newsletter. CHA will be recognized at the NACCHO Preparedness Summit in April for achieving this designation. 

The CHA has worked tirelessly to achieve this recognition, and can now proudly state that in the event of an emergency, they are capable of protecting the health of the community. Working both within the community as well as the state is an important part of a successful procedure, something that the CHA has garnered success for.

"The Cabarrus County community should know that CHA and other local officials work behind the scenes all year long to ensure plans are ready to be acted upon if needed," Shoe said.  "Cabarrus County is extremely collaborative, which is necessary should we need to respond to a large scale disaster or outbreak. In the future, we hope the community will participate in planning exercises and drills. It’s a great way to help us test our systems while also learning about our planning efforts."

Congratulations to the Cabarrus Health Alliance! To learn more about other amazing things they are doing within the community, you can visit their website

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