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Health & Medical Preparedness

The Worcester Division of Public Health has been actively involved in public health emergency preparedness planning since 2002 and in 2008, the City’s Division of Public Health established the Office of Health & Medical Preparedness. The office is responsible for educating the community on how to prepare for an emergency. In addition to providing education, the Office of Health and Medical Preparedness oversees many preparedness projects for the City of Worcester and the 74 towns of the central Massachusetts region such as:

  • Worcester Regional Medical Reserve Corps (WRMRC)
  • CDC Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program (PHEP/PERP)
  • Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response Hospital Preparedness Program (ASPR)

Are You Ready?

Being prepared for an emergency situation is everyone's responsibility. The City of Worcester makes available a number of resources to help you and your family prepare for emergency situations. At minimum every family should take the time to make an emergency plan so that everyone knows how to respond to an emergency and build an emergency kit to ensure that supplies are accessible in the event of an emergency. For more information please visit City of Worcester Emergency Management - Are You Ready?

Citizens with Disabilities (mobility, visual, hearing, cognitive or mental health) may register in advance with the City of Worcester so that emergency workers may better plan their responses to natural and manmade disasters. Participation is voluntary. All personal information will be kept confidential under the law, but may be shared with other emergency response agencies. Please note that providing this information does not guarantee your safety or any particular level of assistance or emergency service during a disaster; it is meant to enhance the ability of emergency responders to plan for a disaster.

ALERTWorcester enables the city to provide you with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons and evacuation of buildings or neighborhoods via your choice of phone, email, text, etc.

Medical Reserve Corps

Medical Reserve CorpsThe Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) was founded in 2002 after President Bush called for Americans to volunteer to support their country. A part of Citizen Corps, the MRC is dedicated to ensuring hometown security by supplementing existing local emergency and public health resources.

Founded in March of 2006 as a part of the Region II Public Health Coalition, the Worcester Regional MRC continues to recruit and engage volunteers, and respond to emergencies in 48 towns across central Massachusetts.

Volunteers for the Worcester Regional MRC include medical professionals (physicians, nurses, EMTs, pharmacists, etc.) and people with no medical background (school teachers, security guards, translators, social workers, etc.) or anyone who has an interest in the community. Once enrolled, you will be asked to attend an orientation, take a class on National Incident Management Systems and Incident Command Systems and participate in periodic trainings and drills.

In the event of an emergency, volunteers will be called to help staff Emergency Dispensing Sites (EDS), and respond to other public health disasters. Volunteers can also participate in vaccination exercises and community disaster drills, and help the community by distributing medications and medical care during an emergency. During the times when there is no emergency, volunteers can use their training to help teach others to prepare in the community.

PHEP Coalition

The Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Coalition represents 74 cities and towns in central Massachusetts working together to build local public health emergency preparedness and response capabilities. Funding for the coalition planning activities is provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and managed by the City of Worcester Division of Public Health.

The coalition represents all of Planning Region II and contains the largest number of communities and comprises the largest geographical land mass of the sixteen coalitions in the state (see regional coalition map). Established in 2004, each community appoints a representative to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee elects an Executive Committee that is responsible for the management and oversight of the coalition and staff. Funding provides staff to coordinate the creation of emergency plans, such as emergency dispensing site plans, and for the purchase of equipment such as medical supplies, communications equipment, etc.

For more information please visit the Region 2 PHEP Coalition.

PERP Grant

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Bureau awarded the City of Worcester Division of Public Health the Partnership for the Enhancement of Regional Preparedness (PERP) grant on behalf of all of central Massachusetts health and medical organizations in January 2009.

The grant is designed to enhance regional collective capacity to share resources and respond to public health and medical threats and emergencies.

PERP is accomplishing this by:

  • Developing and implementing plans, procedures and protocols to best manage the flow of information during an emergency.
  • Fostering mutual aid agreements and memoranda of understanding.
  • Incorporating best practices to efficiently respond to the health and medical challenges associated with large emergencies and disasters.

Local health departments, hospitals, ACS level 1 trauma centers, long term care facilities, health centers, EMS, specialty care rehabilitation hospitals, physicians, metropolitan medical response system and home health agencies can all benefit from the successes of the PERP grant.

For more information please visit PERP in Region 2.

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