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Public Health Emergency Preparedness

ORAU helps CDC ensure that local public health systems can effectively respond to a range of public health threats

CDC's Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program is a critical component of national health security.

Within the public health preparedness portfolio, 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.  

Industries we serve

  • Federal preparedness agencies
  • State, local and territorial public health departments
  • Preparedness professionals
  • National preparedness organizations and agencies
firemen looking at a smartphone screen

What we offer

ORAU has been supporting CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program since the development of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Extranet in 2003. Our experts work with federal agencies and national preparedness organizations by providing the following services:

  • Preparedness education campaign planning and implementation
  • Preparedness Impact Project Steering Committee project management
  • Design and testing of PHEP communication materials
  • Social media messaging and graphic design
  • Technical guidance writing and editing
  • Technical assistance and training for preparedness professionals
Large fire with cars in foreground

Community preparedness: Best practices for emergency and disaster response

For decades, ORAU has engaged state and local public health departments across the United States to develop tools that focus on a whole-community approach to emergency preparedness. The approach requires public health, health care, emergency medical services and emergency management working together to provide the right care at the right time.

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Our Experts

Freddy Gray

Freddy Gray, M.P.H.

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
Kara Stephens

Kara Stephens, M.P.H., M.S.A.

Expertise: Public health emergency preparedness program (PHEP) management, health communication and education, social marketing, social media

Stephens has more than 12 years of experience leading national health communication and education initiatives in support of the nation’s health security efforts.

Certification: Certified Health Education Specialist, ThinkTank Certified Facilitator, Adobe Illustrator and Indesign Certified Expert

Contact us

For information about ORAU’s health communication, preparedness and response needs, contact Freddy Gray, director, Health Communication and Preparedness programs, at 865.576.0029 or