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About Us

The Office of Preparedness and Response is responsible for staffing the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DHMH) Command Center during a significant public health event such as pandemic, natural disaster, act of terrorism or any incident that requires the coordination of state level health department resources. All staff are trained in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS). The DHMH Command Center coordinates the state health department response to an incident in collaboration with the MEMA's Emergency Operations Center and other state agencies. 


OP&R organizes and prepares for public health and medical emergencies through statewide partnerships with public, private and government agencies to coordinate an effective emergency response for the health and safety of all residents of Maryland.


A prepared Maryland.


Health System Surge

Health System Surge is one of the Governor’s Core Goals for A Prepared Maryland. OP&R is fulfilling this priority by ensuring the development of coordinated statewide plans to address health system surge. OP&R is also providing guidance and technical assistance to preparedness partners to assist in local and organizational surge planning efforts. Critical components of Health System Surge include: Pandemic Influenza Planning, Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), and Local Health Department Preparedness.


Improving biosurveillance is one of the Governor’s Core Goals for a Prepared Maryland. OP&R is leading the effort to enhance biosurveillance capabilities in the state of Maryland. OP&R conducts biosurveillance activities to detect the early presence of disease or illness which may be indicative of a threat to public health and well-being. Biosurveillance data sources are reviewed and analyzed on a daily basis – 24/7/365.

Hospital Preparedness Program

The Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) is a federal program funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. The goal of the program is to enhance healthcare systems capacities and capabilities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from any public health incident. DHMH administers the activities of HPP and collaborates with various healthcare systems to enhance Maryland’s readiness in the event of a public health incident.

Emergency Operations

OP&R is responsible for coordinating a public health emergency response in the state of Maryland. As lead for Emergency Support Function #8: Public Health and Medical (ESF 8), OP&R oversees several critical emergency operations functions. The key activities of OP&R Emergency Operations include: Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI), and the Maryland Professional Volunteer Corps (MPVC).