Health district honored by national group

Published 4:48 pm Thursday, February 8, 2024

The Piedmont Health District has been recognized by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) for its ability to plan for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies. The Piedmont Health District demonstrated these capabilities by meeting the comprehensive preparedness benchmarks required by Project Public Health Ready (PPHR), a unique partnership between NACCHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The health district joins a cohort of more than 550 local health departments across the country that have been distinguished for excellence in preparedness through PPHR, either individually or as part of a region. 

“We are proud to have received Project Public Health Ready recognition for our emergency response preparedness,” said Piedmont Health District Director Maria Almond, MD, MPH. 

“We will continue to evaluate and improve on our ability to quickly and effectively respond to any public health challenge in the Piedmont Health District.” 

PPHR recognition confirms that the Piedmont Health District has a thorough and coordinated emergency response plan in place and that staff have the training to protect the health of the community during an emergency. Local health departments recognized by PPHR undergo a rigorous evaluation by peer review to assess their ability to meet a set of national standards for public health preparedness. These standards align with federal government requirements and other national best practices. 

PPHR recognition also requires health departments to collaborate with their state, local, and community partners to develop plans that account for all the constituents in their jurisdictions. 

Piedmont Health District collaborations include Crossroads Community Services Board, Piedmont Senior Resources Area Agency on Aging, Piedmont Medical Reserve Corps, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virgina Department of Social Services, Central Virginia Healthcare Coalition, Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services, Centra Southside Community Hospital, Longwood University and the counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward. 

“Public health preparedness planning, response, and recovery begins at the local level. Local health departments play an essential role in creating healthy, resilient communities that can respond to and recover from disasters.” said Lori T. Freeman, Chief Executive Officer of NACCHO. “NACCHO commends the Piedmont Health District for being a model of public health emergency preparedness.” 

NACCHO, the voice of the nearly 3,000 local health departments across the country, provides resources to help local health department leaders develop public health policies and programs to ensure that communities have access to vital programs and services that people need to keep them protected from disease and disaster. Its mission is to be a leader, partner, catalyst, and voice for local health departments in order to ensure the conditions that promote health and equity, combat disease, and improve the quality and length of all lives.