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Office of Public Health Preparedness

The Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP) is an office within the Boston Public Health Commission affiliated with EMS. OPHP deals with the health and medical impacts of emergencies.

OPHP is the intersection between public health, emergency medical services, healthcare, and public safety. It handles emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. 

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  • 1010 Massachusetts Ave.
    6th Floor
    BOSTON, MA 02118

Emergency Planning

Development and revision of plans happens as part of an ongoing planning process. The process includes stakeholders from all levels of government, private sector partners, and non-profit partners.

Planning areas of focus include:

Emergency Operations Planning (EOP)
During emergencies that impact healthcare infrastructure the OPHP provides support for the essential services BPHC and the  healthcare community provide.

Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP)
Continually develops and revises plans to reflect the business continuity needs of the BPHC. It ensures that during an incident, businesses and organizations can continue providing essential services. It also ensures that essential business operations can continue with little disruption.

Access and Functional Needs
Ensuring continual planning for the needs of severely impacted residents during an emergency incident. This includes working with public and private agencies that work closely with Boston's vulnerable populations.

Risk Communications
Communicating with the public and partner organizations during any emergency incident is essential. OPHP ensures all planning efforts are reflective of how to integrate appropriate agency Public Information Officers, media outlets, and community partners into messaging. 

Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA)
We identify risks to the community and healthcare infrastructure through ongoing hazard vulnerability analysis. It identifies the most likely hazards and how severe the impact to Boston will be. This helps guide the construction and content of all plans.

Plan Maintenance
We test and exercise plans on a regular basis, in compliance with the DHS Homeland Security Exercise & Evaluation Program. This ensures plans reflect the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Medical Intelligence Center

In 2008, Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP) opened the Stephen M. Lawlor Medical Intelligence Center (MIC) located at Boston EMS Headquarters. The MIC functions as the multi-agency coordinating center for public health and healthcare organizations for the City of Boston and its partners. The MIC also serves as the Department Operations Center for BPHC.

During a major emergency or disaster, medical and public health services need centralized, coordinated management. The MIC provides virtual and face-to-face coordination and management for the City of Boston and its partners.

DelValle Institute Learning Center

The DelValle Institute provides high-quality, all hazards training and exercises.

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The programs within the OPHP receive 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. Includes funding from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security via the City of Boston Mayor's Office of Emergency Management.
  • The DelValle Institute provides programs with a focus on Emergency Support Function 8 for the Metro-Boston Homeland Security Region. This region consists of nine cities and towns:
    • Boston
    • Brookline
    • Cambridge
    • Chelsea
    • Everett
    • Quincy
    • Revere
    • Somerville
    • Winthrop
  • The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management with funding from:
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Hospital Preparedness Program
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement 
  • The DelValle Institute is the Emergency Preparedness Education and Training Center for Massachusetts. This funding supports education and training for the Health and Medical Coordinating Coalition (HMCC) members. It includes staff members of hospitals, public health, community health centers, EMS agencies, and long-term care facilities, as well as other healthcare entities and related disciplines.
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