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Bureau of Public Health Preparedness

The Bureau of Public Health Preparedness

The Bureau of Public Health Preparedness (BPHP) is located within the Ohio Department of Health and was created in 2005.  Our Mission is to assure an effective statewide health response through planning and collaboration.


  1. Effectively and efficiently respond
  2. Ensure daily operations are efficient and accountable
  3. Support local health departments and healthcare systems in meeting established performance measures for planning and responding to all-hazards incidents
  4. Provide stewardship of federal funds by meeting accountability and compliance requirements and measuring progress on performance measures

Contact Us
Bureau of Public Health Preparedness
35 East Chestnut Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-644-6133

Emergencies are addressed 24 hours per day at local health departments. To find yours, click here.

BPHP staff works in four units: Communications; Hospital Preparedness Program; Public Health Emergency Preparedness; and Strategic National Stockpile.

The Communications Unit implemented the Ohio Public Health Communication System (OPHCS) in 2004 as the State of Ohio’s official public health emergency alerting system. OPHCS is a secure Web-based information and communications system for distribution of health alerts, prevention guidelines, disease investigation efforts and preparedness planning.  The Communications unit also oversees the use of the Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS).  MARCS radios can be used if standard communications - such as traditional telephone lines, cell phones and the Internet - are overwhelmed during an emergency.

The Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) works closely with Ohio’s hospital and healthcare systems. HPP provides the oversight, monitoring, evaluation and ongoing technical assistance to the local subgrantees related to the federally funded Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) subgrants.  HPP coordinates subgrants to the seven regional hospital associations, the state hospital association and to the Poison Control Centers.  HPP also coordinates several projects including Ohio’s SurgeNet system which tracks the number and type of available beds at facilities that can accept patients in a disaster. Patient tracking can also provide much needed information to family members trying to locate missing loved ones in a disaster. HPP also works closely with healthcare systems and other appropriate entities, such as funeral directors and coroners, on fatality management planning.

HPP, along with the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, coordinate Ohio's disaster response volunteers. Information on these initiatives and volunteer opportunities can be found on the Ohio Responds Web site.

The Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) team provides the oversight, monitoring, evaluation and ongoing technical assistance to the local subgrantees related to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) PHEP grant. PHEP funds are awarded to local health departments to address bioterrorism, outbreaks of infectious disease and other public health threats and emergencies at the county and regional public health level.  The PHEP team coordinates subgrants to the local health departments. Grant funding is also awarded to the three Cities Readiness Initiatives (CRI) subgrantees.  CDC’s CRI is a federally funded program designed to enhance preparedness in the nation’s largest cities and metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) where more than 50% of the U.S. population resides. To ensure continued readiness, CDC and ODH personnel conduct annual technical assistance reviews to assess the plans for each local jurisdiction within their CRI MSAs and measure capacity for functions considered critical.

The CDC plays a pivotal role in ensuring that state and local public health systems are prepared for public health emergencies to respond to infectious, occupational, or environmental incidents that affect the public's health.  CDC's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Division of State and Local Readiness, administers funds for preparedness activities to Ohio Department of Health through the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement.  Through the PHEP, ODH helps public health departments strengthen their abilities to respond to all types of public health incidents and build more resilient communities.

The SNS Unit manages Ohio’s participation in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and ChemPack activities, which provide caches of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to the state in the event of a public health incident or emergency.