Using Federal Homeland Security funding, Greenlee County Health Department has created
a new division Bio-Terrorism Preparedness and Response Program. Bio-T works with
other public health programs, including Communicable Disease Control and Environmental
Health, to develop strategies to better protect the public in the event of a public
health threat or emergency. The Bio-Terrorism Preparedness division was created
to prepare and respond to public health threats and emergencies from various sources,
- Bioterrorism Events
- Use of Biological agents such as smallpox or anthrax
- WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction)
- Other Communicable Disease Outbreaks
Emergency Response Plan
The Bio-Terrorism Division is also responsible for the development of emergency
response plans including:
- Epidemic detection and response
- Use of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) supplies
- Vaccination of the general public
The Bio-Terrorism Division also facilitates communications between local health
providers, the State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These
communications are maintained via a Health Alert Network (HAN or AZHAN in Arizona)
which is an infrastructure of secure Internet connections, fax machines and satellite
connections. The AZHAN makes rapid dissemination of important public health information
and alerts possible.
Public health professionals continually assess the general health of the community
through various surveillance methods. By tracking certain diseases and syndromes
(groups of symptoms) within the community, local surveillance provides the information
needed for public health decision-making and establishing public health priorities.
Epidemiological surveillance will also be managed by the Bio-Terrorism Division
by creating a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week communications infrastructure utilizing
AZHAN to send and receive urgent disease and public threat information.
Public Information and Risk Communication
It is the policy of the Health Department to keep the public informed concerning
public health issues. Information is regularly distributed to the media, health
professionals, and the public through news releases, public service announcements,
email, fax, and newsletters.
The Health Department is also developing a risk communication plan that will keep
the public informed during a public health emergency such as a bioterrorism event.
The plan includes various ways to provide consistent information to the media and
public in order to share valuable information and address concerns.
- Development and Distribution of Public Service Announcements
- Development of risk communication plan
- Establish relationships with various media outlet contacts
Education and Training
The Bio-Terrorism Division is continuously updating training resources that can
be used to educate Health Department employees, medical professionals and the public.
Education programs are also supplied by the State and CDC via webcast and satellite
broadcasts. These educational materials play a critical role in preparing for public
- Creation of various training materials including disaster tabletop exercises
- Public Health Training Network (PHTN)
- Creation of a training library for emergency preparedness and response materials
Emergency & Preparedness Response