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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
Emergency planning for at-risk populations

Emergency planning for at-risk populations

Healthcare and emergency management professionals are prioritizing the inclusion of at-risk populations in their Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs). Gap analyses of EOPs has shown a lack of specificity in planning for those with access and functional needs.

ORAU partnered with Arkansas State University and the Arkansas Department of Health to provide five regional workshops in that state targeting emergency planners responsible for developing and/or executing EOps that include at-risk populations. A survey of participant shows that 95 to 100 percent of participants said they were better able to help assure EOPS include at risk populations.

The poster was presented at the National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Conference in New Orleans in November 2018, and provides more detail about the workshops, goals and results.

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

Julie Crumly, Ph.D.

Julie Crumly, Ph.D.

Expertise: Health and education program evaluation, research methods and data analysis, multicultural and social psychology, evaluation of health interventions and programs, and outcome evaluations for continuing medical education

Co-author: “Non-pharmaceutical interventions for pandemic influenza: An assessment of communication, training, and guidance needs of state, tribal, local, and territorial public health officials,” 2018

Certification: Master Certified Health Education Specialist

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 freddy.gray@orau.org.