The ASTHO preparedness program helps strengthen our nation's public health and healthcare system preparedness and response by identifying and prioritizing policy and
programmatic needs of state and territorial public health agencies, and through collaboration with local, state,
and federal partners.
Preparedness Policy Statement
Preparedness Policy Committee
The various work of ASTHO to advance public health preparedness, outlined below, is informed by the Public Health Preparedness Policy Committee, which analyzes public health and health system preparedness issues to produce recommendations for state-based public health policy. The committee’s deliberations and recommendations will be
operationalized to assist members in developing preparedness activities and in
integrating preparedness efforts with existing state‐based public health
2016 Priorities and Action Plans
ASTHO offers guidance, resources, and webinars on a variety of public health preparedness topics. Go to page »
Health Security Surveillance
ASTHO, in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Health Affairs (DHS/OHA), works to provide analysis and recommendations on key preparedness policies, facilitates collaboration between public health, homeland security, and emergency management communities and educates its members on key issues relevant to the homeland security enterprise.
Healthcare System Preparedness
Healthcare system preparedness involves the work done everyday to help build and sustain the nation's preparedness and response infrastructure to respond to mass casualty events and catastrophic emergencies. ASTHO, in collaboration with the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response's National Healthcare Preparedness Program (ASPR/NHPP), works with state and territorial health departments to enhance the capacities and capabilities of their healthcare systems.
Public Health Emergency Law
The Law can be a powerful tool to help accelerate and enhance responses to public health emergencies such as bioterrorism or pandemic influenza. ASTHO, in conjunction with CDC, has developed resources for public health practitioners, legal counsel, and government officials to assist in education, training, and planning activities on the effective use of relevant laws, regulations, and other legal doctrines in responding to public health emergencies to achieve greater protection of the public’s health and safety.
The ASTHO Social Distancing Law Project has produced two practical, field-tested tools to assess jurisdictional legal preparedness for pandemic influenza:
National Alliance for Radiation Readiness
Since 2011, ASTHO has served as the leader of the National Alliance for Radiation Readiness (NARR), a coalition of 17 public health, healthcare, and emergency management organizations that represent practitioners in the field of radiation readiness. NARR is dedicated to enhancing America’s radiological preparedness capability and capacity in the public health and health care systems by improving the nation's ability to prepare, respond, and recover from radiological emergencies at the local, state, and national levels. Visit the NARR clearinghouse website for more information »
Medical Countermeasures Management and Dispensing
Nurse Triage Line Project
The Nurse Triage Line (NTL) Project is a collaborative effort between ASTHO, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The purpose of the
NTL project is to improve access to antiviral medications to ill persons during
and influenza pandemic and, at the same time, lessen the burden on healthcare
resources. Read more »
Volunteer and Emergency Management
ASTHO assists NACCHO build and enhance relationships between state and local
Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) units with the goal of increasing the capacity of
MRC units through statewide initiatives. ASTHO also collaborates with the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) in the development of
public health and medical EMAC Mission Ready Packages (MRPs) for disaster recovery and
Directors of Public Health Preparedness Meeting
Each year, ASTHO hosts the Directors of Public Health Preparedness
Meeting, which brings together representatives from the states, directly
funded cities, and territories, as well as partner organizations and
National Health Security Preparedness Index™
On December 4, 2013, the National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI; the Index) was officially introduced to the public as a first-of-its-kind tool used to measure and advance the nation's readiness to protect people during a disaster. The Index offers a snapshot of national preparedness to demonstrate progress and identify areas where greater improvement is needed.
The NHSPI examines the health security preparedness of the nation by looking collectively at the health security preparedness of states. The Index results are updated annually.
, Chief Program Officer, Public Health SecurityGerrit Bakker
, Senior Director, Public Health PreparednessJennifer Lumpkins
, Director, Public Health PreparednessHeather Misner
, Director, Preparedness and Clinical OutreachLisa Peterson
, Director, Healthcare Preparedness Neyling Fajardo
, Analyst, Public Health Preparedness