Public health professionals promote the health and well-being of their communities by preventing residents from getting sick or injured and by encouraging healthy lifestyles. The public health field is comprised of a variety of functions including promoting healthy lifestyles, detecting and controlling outbreaks, research, and preventing injury. Some examples of recent public health work include anti-smoking campaigns, flu-clinics, and targeting sources of food-borne illness.
There are five local public health emergency preparedness sub-coalitions within Region 3. Each local public health department is required to have public health emergency response plans, which are part of the community’s Comprehensive Emergency Response Plan (CEMP) and which detail lead responsibilities during public health responses. They also outline the authority and the role of the local public health department. Included in the plans are details on the relationships with local emergency management as well as with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).
Each local public health department is responsible for communicating and coordinating with other local boards of health/health departments, Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (PHEP) regions, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), hospitals, health care practitioners, other health care professionals, disease-reporting agencies, veterinarians, as well as other community partners/stakeholders.