About the Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP)
OPHP is the intersection between public health, emergency medical services, healthcare, and public safety for the purpose of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. OPHP is an office within the Boston Public Health Commission affiliated with Boston EMS. As a result, OPHP has preparedness, response, and recovery roles dealing with the health and medical impacts of emergencies, particularly for those most vulnerable.
DelValle Institute for Emergency Preparedness
Please visit the DelValle Institute for Emergency Preparedness Learning Center, an online portal to our programs and additional resources to support our stakeholders beyond the classroom. Access the Learning Center to (1) learn about current and upcoming programs, (2) register for online and classroom programs, and (3) review valuable resources.
|Boston Medical Reserve Corps |
Please visit Boston Medical Reserve Corps website to learn how to become a volunteer.
|Healthcare System Preparedness|
OPHP is responsible for ensuring that the City of Boston’s healthcare system is prepared and able to respond to and recover from incidents that have a public health and medical impact on the community. OPHP accomplishes this by facilitating preparedness and coordination efforts between local, state and federal partners from both the public and private sectors.
|Boston Healthcare Preparedness Coalition|
The Boston Healthcare Preparedness Coalition (Boston HPC) is a partnership consisting of public health, emergency medical services (EMS), hospitals, community health centers, long term care, home health, mental health, and specialty care organizations. These partners coordinate for a unified response to and recovery from emergencies affecting public health and/or public health infrastructure. The Boston HPC is the primary conduit for preparedness and response planning for the multiagency coordinating center (MACC) functions of the Stephen M. Lawlor Medical Intelligence Center (MIC). The OPHP coordinates Boston HPC and oversees MIC management to support EMS, public health, and healthcare response and recovery efforts through the development and promotion of emergency preparedness and response capabilities by:
1) Strengthening medical surge capacity and capabilities
2) Building relationships and partnerships
3) Facilitating communication, information and resource sharing
4) Maximizing movement and utilization of existing resources
5) Coordinating training, drills, and exercises
The Boston HPC utilizes a portal to share information, coordinate plans, documents, and events: www.bostonhpc.org.
|Stephen M. Lawlor Medical Intelligence Center|
In 2009, Boston EMS opened the Stephen M. Lawlor Medical Intelligence Center (MIC). The MIC functions as the multiagency coordinating center (MACC) for public health and healthcare organizations for the City of Boston and its partners in surrounding areas. The MIC also serves as the Department Operations Center (DOC) for Boston EMS and BPHC.
When a major emergency or disaster occurs, coordinated emergency management in a centralized manner is necessary for the public health and medical services that comprise Emergency Support Function 8. The MIC provides virtual and face-to-face centralized coordination and management for the City of Boston and its partners in surrounding areas to protect and preserve public health and safety.
Boston EMS places an emphasis on intelligence and information gathering through cooperation with other public safety and health organizations. OPHP hosts MIC briefings on a regular basis to ensure health and medical information and intelligence is shared with public and private planning and response partners.
Plans are developed and revised through an ongoing planning process which includes stakeholders from all levels of government, as well as private sector and non-profit partners, including universities, businesses, hospitals, and health centers. Planning areas of focus include:
Emergency Operations Planning (EOP) – The OPHP works to ensure that essential services provided by the BPHC and the overarching healthcare community within Boston can be supported and sustained during an emergency incident impacting the healthcare infrastructure.
Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) – Plans continually developed and revised to reflect the business continuity needs of the BPHC, to ensure that during an incident, essential services can continue to be provided throughout the City of Boston, and that essential business operations can continue with as little disruption as possible.
Access and Functional Needs – Ensuring that the needs of Boston residents who would be most severely impacted during an emergency incident are continually planned for and taken into account during the planning process. This includes working with partner public and private agencies within the City of Boston who work most closely with vulnerable populations.
Risk Communications – Communicating with the public and partner organizations during any emergency incident is essential, so the OPHP works to ensure all planning efforts are reflective of how to integrate appropriate agency Public Information Officers (PIOs), media outlets, and community partners into any message dissemination.
Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA) – Risks to the community and healthcare infrastructure are identified through ongoing hazard vulnerability analyses, which identify the most likely hazards that may impact the City of Boston, and to what estimated degree. This helps guide the construction and content of all plans.
Plan Maintenance – Plans are tested and exercised on a regular basis, in compliance with the DHS Homeland Security Exercise & Evaluation Program (HSEEP). This helps to ensure lessons learned are continually captured, and corrective actions are put in place so all plans are reflective of the most up-to-date and accurate information.
The programs within the Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP) are supported by the following grant funding:
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Homeland Security Grant Program by the Metro Boston Homeland Security Region with funding from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security via the City of Boston Mayor's Office of Emergency Management
- The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Emergency Preparedness Bureau with funding from:
- the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Hospital Preparedness Program; and
- the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement through the Boston Public Health Commission Office of Public Health Preparedness
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Grant Program by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security for the Boston Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) to support the integration of emergency management, health and medical systems into a coordinated response to mass casualty incidents. Through the procurement of pharmaceuticals and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as ongoing planning with the City of Boston's first responders and first receivers related to all Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) hazards, Boston MMRS works to reduce the consequences of a mass casualty incident during the initial period of a response by enhancing existing local operational response systems before an incident occurs.