ICF International has 20 years of experience in domestic preparedness, emergency management, and domestic preparedness needs. We have developed this paper to demonstrate how using an integrated, regional approach to public health and medical planning helps build community resilience. Disasters or emergencies with catastrophic public health and medical consequences have the potential to overwhelm available local health and medical resources such as health departments, emergency medical services (EMS) entities, and hospitals. The management of the response to and recovery from these large-scale emergencies requires a coordinated effort between the affected jurisdiction and neighboring and regional partners to meet resource and service demands in a timely manner.
A community’s health care delivery system (local public health departments, hospitals and health care facilities, private providers, and EMS agencies) will likely become rapidly overwhelmed when responding to natural disasters such as tornados, earthquakes, and hurricanes, as well as other types of large-scale emergencies such as an influenza pandemic or a terrorist attack. However, building community resilience through the implementation of an integrated regional public health and medical planning process can significantly minimize the impact of those events and, more importantly, limit serious injury, permanent disability, and loss of life.
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