The Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response (PHPER) Division consists of the following three sections:
The District and Local Readiness section supports local public health and healthcare preparedness throughout Indiana. This is accomplished through North, Central, and South Area Coordinators. Each Area Coordinator oversees the District Public Health Coordinator and District Healthcare Coordinator for each respective District.
This section primarily works with local health departments, hospitals, healthcare coalitions, and other public health and healthcare partners in each District. This preparedness work includes all five mission areas of the National Preparedness Goal: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery. Additionally, the District and Local Readiness section works closely with several other State Agencies, Public Health and Healthcare Associations, and many other organizations that have local roles in public health and healthcare preparedness. The District and Local Readiness section consists of the following areas:
Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP)
The Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is administered to the 93 local health departments throughout Indiana. The CDC PHEP program has developed 15 Public Health Preparedness Capabilities that are used to assist state and local public health partners in identifying gaps in preparedness, determining the specific jurisdictional priorities, and developing plans for building and sustaining capabilities.
Additionally, the PHEP Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) program is administered to local health departments within the four Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) – Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Louisville. As part of the CRI program, the CDC's Operational Readiness Review (ORR) is conducted throughout each local CRI jurisdiction. The ORR is designed to measure public health preparedness for Medical Countermeasure (MCM) events.
Healthcare Preparedness Program
The Healthcare Preparedness Program (HPP) cooperative agreement from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is administered to the 10 District Healthcare Coalitions throughout Indiana. The ASPR HPP has developed 4 Healthcare Preparedness and Response Capabilities that are used to assist state and local healthcare partners in identifying gaps in preparedness, determining the specific jurisdictional priorities, and developing plans for building and sustaining capabilities.
The Operations section is responsible for emergency planning, emergency operations, medical countermeasures, public health volunteers, and preparedness analysis. Additionally, the Operations section is responsible for coordinating the Federal PHEP-HPP Cooperative Agreement with the different PHPER sections and other divisions within ISDH. The Operations sections consists of the following areas:
Emergency planning consists of the development and maintenance of the division’s preparedness and response plans, as well as recovery and continuity planning. Other emergency planning activities consist of leading the development of public health and medical emergency plans for the state, working closely with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and other public health and medical partner agencies. Other planning activities include supporting local public health and healthcare planning in conjunction with the District and Local Readiness section.
Emergency Operations consists of serving as the Emergency Support Function 8 - Public Health and Medical Services (ESF-8) coordinator in the Indiana State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) during disasters and statewide emergencies. The ESF-8 coordinator works with federal, state, and local public health, healthcare coalitions, and healthcare partners during an emergency to facilitate communications and resource assistance. Emergency Operations additionally include activations of the ISDH Department Operations Center (DOC) and ISDH Incident Support Team. These additional resources are utilized in conjunction with the SEOC during public health emergencies, mass prophylaxis incidents, natural disasters, and other public health and medical incidents.
In conjunction with the CDC's Division of Strategic National Stockpile (DSNS), the ISDH collaborates with the Indiana State Police, Indiana National Guard, Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies to support the distribution of pharmaceuticals, countermeasures, personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and other related items in response to disasters and statewide emergencies. Like local CRI jurisdictions, the ISDH is responsible for completing the statewide Operational Readiness Review (ORR) by the CDC.
Emergency Volunteer Registry and MRC
The State Emergency Registry of Volunteers for Indiana (SERV-IN) is a statewide, electronic registration system of both public health, medical, and non-medical volunteers who desire to assist during an event or disaster. By registering with SERV-IN, volunteers’ identities and credentials are verified in advance of an emergency situation.
Additionally, Indiana has over 30 Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) units across the state, working closely with the Health and Human Services Medical Reserve Corps program in administration of the MRC program in Indiana.
Preparedness analysis consists of the development and completion of jurisdictional risk assessments. These risk assessments are completed in conjunction with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, local public health, healthcare coalitions, and healthcare partners. Jurisdictional risk assessments are based on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (THIRA) principles and Hazard and Vulnerability Assessments (HVA) from various models. Additionally, as Operational Readiness Reviews (ORR) are submitted by local health departments in conjunction with the District and Local Readiness section, each ORR is analyzed and reviewed.
The Resource and Evaluation section oversees the Training and Exercise programs and Logistics for the division. This section is responsible for the evaluation of emergency plans and the maintenance and deployment of resources. This section maintains the readiness of the ISDH PHPER resources, ready to respond during emergencies and disasters. The Resource and Evaluation section participates in the State Training and Exercise Planning Workshop (TEPW) hosted annually by Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), ensuring a collaborative and coordinated approach to Training and Exercise throughout the state. The Resource and Evaluation consists of the following areas:
Statewide public health and medical training are coordinated throughout the state, additionally providing support and guidance for the division, agency, and other local public health, healthcare coalitions, and healthcare partners. Through a collaboration with state and federal partners, training needs are continuously assessed, developing new or identifying existing courses, providing support with requesting training courses, and coordinating delivery of a variety of training opportunities.
Exercise design consists of developing and implementing exercises, providing support and guidance for the agency, division, local public health, healthcare coalitions, and healthcare partners. The ISDH follows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) standards and guidelines for all trainings and exercises. Additionally, the ISDH participates in the State Training and Exercise Planning Workshop (TEPW) hosted annually by Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS).
Logistics consists of maintaining operational status, maintenance, and inventory of the division's assets. In a disaster or statewide emergency, the ISDH possess emergency resources such as communication assets, emergency response trailers, supplies, and other items. The emergency response trailers consist of the Advance Medical Supply Unit, Mobile Communications Unit, the Mobile Hospital, and the supply trailer. The ISDH has multiple sheltering systems ranging from rapid inflatable shelters to rigid structural shelters.
The ISDH maintains a variety of communications assets utilized in daily operations as well as during emergencies. Communications assets include amateur radio, UHF/VHF, high frequency, and satellite communications. Other communication systems include electronic platforms and mass notification systems. All communication systems are tested frequently and statewide emergency communications planning is conducted with the Integrated Public Safety Commission and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.