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ORAU provides evidence-based solutions tailored to help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from all types of public health and healthcare emergencies.

ORAU understands the increasing demand on our nation’s healthcare and public health systems to prepare for, respond to, and recover from pandemics, natural disasters, terrorism and other unforeseen, disruptive events. The integration of public health, healthcare and emergency management systems before, during and after these events help agencies reduce duplication and meet increased requirements and demands when an emergency occurs. ORAU’s experienced team uses this holistic approach to enhance a community or agencies resilience in support of national health security efforts.

ORAU has more than three decades of real-world operational experience supporting national and global preparedness programs and responses, such as the 2014-15 Ebola Response in the U.S. and West Africa.

What we offer

Our experts work with federal, state and local public health and healthcare agencies to promote evidence-based practices and programs that protect communities from threats. These services include:

  • Automation of emergency management processes
  • Community capacity building
  • Emergency public information and warning
  • Emergency response support and training
  • Strategic planning
  • Preparedness product (e.g., guidance, toolkits) development
  • Exercise and drill design, facilitation and evaluation
  • Medical countermeasures planning
  • Medical surge planning
  • Medications on pharmacy shelves

    Medical Countermeasure Readiness

    ORAU offers more than three decades of real-world experiences supporting federal agencies, public health departments and national preparedness organizations promote evidence-based practices to advance medical countermeasure readiness.

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    Public Health Emergency Preparedness

    ORAU works on a variety of national projects, programs, and initiatives to help CDC ensure state and local public health systems are able to effectively respond to a range of public health threats, including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological events.  

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  • Small group of adults in masks taking instruction from emergency personnel

    Healthcare Preparedness

    ORAU healthcare preparedness experts conduct exercises; organize, facilitate and evaluate key stakeholder meetings; and develop state and local planning tools to help communities across the United States improve their healthcare preparedness and delivery during an emergency or event.

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  • Firemen and medical staff assist patient in emergency drill

    Radiation Health Preparedness

    ORAU provides broad based support for planning and responding to mass casualty radiological and nuclear disasters. Our experts work with federal agencies to promote radiological and nuclear emergency preparedness planning.

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  • Nuclear power plant cooling towers

    Exercise Builder Nuclearâ„¢

    Exercise Builder Nuclear™ provides powerful drill and exercise management tools and the convenience of an online application that can store all current and historical exercise and drill data in one place.

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  • Student participating in radiation emergency medicine training

    Radiation Emergency Medicine

    ORAU’s experts in radiation emergency medicine have more than 40 years of experience in radiation emergency medical response, leading the way in strengthening worldwide preparedness to respond to radiological/nuclear incidents. Our team provides advice, consultation and educational courses on the medical management of radiological/nuclear incidents.

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  • Laboratory technician hand holding vials

    Forensic Science Services

    ORAU helps strengthen our nation’s defenses by aiding government agencies and law enforcement in their mission to protect citizens and stop threats to communities. ORAU provides forensic science expertise in several areas, including analysis and laboratory operations, consulting and education and training.

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Who we serve

  • Federal, state, local and territorial public health departments
  • Healthcare systems
  • Preparedness professionals
  • National preparedness organizations and agencies
  • sandbags holding back flood waters

    PIMS web-based application aids VHA in response to local emergencies and national disasters

    ORAU developed the Performance Improvement Management System (PIMS) for the Veterans Health Administration’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Program to track information such as available volunteers and emergency resources for each VA medical center. The system helps VHA emergency managers respond quickly to staffing and supply needs at hardest hit locations.

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    ORAU partners with Meals on Wheels for MCM readiness

    To provide standardized considerations and partner practices for public health planning with local Meals on Wheels chapters, ORAU, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developed the Meals on Wheel Planning Guide.

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    ORAU assists national health security efforts

    ORAU conducted stakeholder engagement, web development, model design, data management, and quality control for the 2013 National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI) ™ and 2014 NHSPI™, which measures and advances the nation’s readiness to protect the public during a disaster.

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  • EMTs moving patient from ambulance to emergency room entrance

    ORAU leads national preparedness initiative

    The CDC contracted ORAU to provide project management and communication support of the Preparedness Impact Project in order to demonstrate how federal investments enhance the ability of our nation's public health systems to respond to public health emergencies.

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  • Medical professionals and first responders taking part in public health emergency preparedness exercise

    Training local communities to respond to public health threats

    Over the past 15 years, ORAU has worked with CDC to conduct more than 30 community workshops and stakeholder meetings and develop more than 70 tools and communication products that enhance public health as well as healthcare preparedness, delivery and response during a public health emergency.

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    ORAU supports CDC in development of population monitoring guide

    ORAU led stakeholder engagement, writing and design of the second edition of CDC’s Population Monitoring in Radiation Emergencies: A Guide for State and Local Public Health Planners, which sets the standard for population monitoring after a radiation emergency.

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  • adult male wearing surgical mask to prevent virus exposure

    Triage tools help mitigate medical surge during an influenza pandemic

    The Pandemic Influenza Triage Tools are a toolkit for healthcare professionals and community healthcare leaders and decision-makers to manage influenza-like illness and medical surge during a pandemic.

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Awards & recognition

  • 2017 - ClearMark Award of Distinction - “Radiation Thermometer” Dose Risk Assessment Tool
  • 2016 - CDC Director's Award - “TravWell” Mobile Application
  • 2014 - CDC Director's Award - “Preparing Hospitals in the U.S. and West Africa for Ebola”
  • 2014 - CDC Director's Award - “Flu On Call”
  • 2013 - CDC Director's Award - Travelers’ Health Website Redesign

Our Experts

Freddy Gray

Freddy Gray, M.P.H., MCHES

Expertise: Public health and healthcare preparedness, medical countermeasures, team dynamics, strategic planning

Gray has more than 25 years of experience managing and supervising public health and healthcare system preparedness and response programs involving medical countermeasures to help mitigate the surge of patients due to a public health emergency.

Certification: Master Certified Health Education Specialist

Will Artley

Will Artley

Expertise: Document design and development, technical writing and editing, emergency response exercise design and information synthesis


  • “Supply Chain Disaster Preparedness Manual,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), December 2017
  • “Pandemic Influenza Electronic Exercise Tool,” CDC, September 2017
  • “How to Develop Medical Surge Planning Workshops,” CDC, June 2017
Mary Connelly

Mary Connelly, MEP

Expertise: Emergency management technology solutions, training, exercises, project management


  • National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Conference, November 2017
  • National Health Preparedness Summit, April 2017

Certification: FEMA Master Exercise Practitioner

  • Come talk to us about public health and healthcare preparedness capabilities

    Come talk to us about public health and healthcare preparednes at the ORAU booth at the 2019 NACCHO Preparedness Summit March 26-29, 2019 in St. Louis.

    The Preparedness Summit is the first and longest running national conference on public health preparedness. The Summit convenes a wide array of partners; presenting new research findings, sharing tools and resources and providing a variety of opportunities for attendees to learn how to implement model practices that enhance the nation’s capabilities to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters and other emergencies.

Contact us

For information about ORAU’s health communication, preparedness and response needs, contact Marcus Weseman, M.P.A., vice president and senior associate director, Health Communication programs, at 865.576.3420 or