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Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security Launches a New Project to Support CDC in Facilitating Regional Public Health Preparedness Efforts

Center News


September 29, 2023 A contract has been awarded to the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office of Readiness and Response (ORR) to prepare a workplan for the establishment of a network of regional Centers for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (PHEPR).

CDC ORR’s Office of Applied Research (OAR) has awarded a total of eight institutions to support the creation of seven regional PHEPRs and to provide national coordination, technical assistance, and training in support of the regional work plan efforts. Regional workplan contracts were awarded to institutions in seven of the ten Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regions.

The Center for Health Security’s Project will assist in planning for the HHS Region 3, which includes the states of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The project will establish a coordinating body made of key Region 3 stakeholders to identify specific needs and gaps in public health emergency preparedness and response practices at the state and local levels. 
The project is led by Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security senior scholars and associate professors Tara Kirk Sell, PhD, and Crystal Watson, DrPH, and Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine associate professor J. Lee Jenkins, MD, MS, FACEP.

“Through collaborative partnerships, knowledge sharing, and anticipatory planning,” said Dr. Sell the team “aims to enhance the uptake of evidence-based interventions to improve public health preparedness and emergency response.” Dr. Watson echoes that we “will be working to bring together partners from across the region and the spectrum of preparedness disciplines to understand future threats and propose ways to protect people better.”

The Center for Health Security will partner with The Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR), the Johns Hopkins Biocontainment Unit, the University of Delaware Disaster Research Center, and Cathy Slemp, MD, MPH, former Health Commissioner of West Virginia to implement this project.

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