In Amarillo, the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program exists to provide and maintain a high level of public-health response readiness. Responsibilities include both pre-event planning and response to infectious disease outbreaks, bioterrorism threats or attacks, and the medical component of local multi-agency emergency responses.
Nationwide, the federal government created PHEP programs in response to the events of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent anthrax attacks in late September and October of 2001. Initially, Public Health Preparedness focused on bioterrorism; however, bioterrorism programs have matured into “all hazards” response units. PHEP functions range from hurricane shelter operations to mass vaccination clinic operations, such as the clinics opened to provide the H1N1 Influenza Vaccine in 2009 and early 2010.
Public Health Emergency Preparedness includes collaboration and cooperation with local, regional, state and federal agencies and departments. Through planning and response efforts, PHEP serves a vital purpose in emergency response efforts in Amarillo, as well as Potter and Randall Counties.
Medical Reserve Corps:
Additionally, the Amarillo Public Health Preparedness program operates the Greater Amarillo Medical Reserve Corps (GAMRC). The GAMRC is a team of volunteer healthcare professionals, and medical support personnel, who are affiliated and trained in disaster response. The GAMRC is affiliated with the U.S. Surgeon General’s Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps program. At the national level, the Medical Reserve Corps is a partner program of Citizen Corps, a national network of volunteers dedicated to ensuring hometown security.
The City of Amarillo PHEP offices are located at 1000 Martin Road. The staff includes the PHEP Coordinator, the PHEP Educator and the PHEP Assistant. For further information, contact the Public Health Preparedness Coordinator at 806-378-6335.