Local Health Preparedness
After September 11, 2001, Congress authorized funding for the public health emergency preparedness cooperative agreement that supports the preparedness efforts of state, local, tribal and territorial public health departments in 2002. This funding stream has allowed each local health department within their respective jurisdictions to increase their preparedness, response and recovery capabilities in the event of a terrorist threat, natural disaster or other public health threat or emergency.
Formerly the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR), the Office of Preparedness and Response (OP&R) was created to respond to this federal directive. Within the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, OP&R is responsible for providing guidance and technical assistance to all local health departments with regard to emergency preparedness planning and activities throughout the State of Maryland. OP&R works cooperatively with all local health departments statewide to develop and operationalize preparedness plans, coordinate training, and provide resources to build the capacity and capability to respond to public health emergencies.