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Indiana State Department of Health

Public Health Preparedness Home > Divisional Overview Divisional Overview

Hospital Preparedness Program

The Hospital Preparedness Program guides Indiana hospitals in fulfilling and maintaining the healthcare capabilities required by the federal government and coordinates preparedness responses among hospitals in the state to ensure the most efficient and effective response to any type of event.  Such activities include State level planning for emergency hospital operations, medical volunteer planning and management, coordination of planning efforts among District hospital corporations, and maintaining coordination and communication with hospitals during emergency operations. All of these efforts are to ensure hospitals are ready to respond as needed to those impacted by an event that could occur in their community, their county or even their own building. 

Local Public Health Preparedness Program

The Local Public Health Preparedness Program section acts as a source of technical expertise and support to local public health staff throughout Indiana in maintaining public health disaster preparedness.  The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) has created a list of 15 public health preparedness capabilities that are used to assist state and local planners in identifying gaps in preparedness, determining the specific jurisdictional priorities, and developing plans for building and sustaining capabilities.

The Local Public Health Preparedness Program section helps support local public health partners through ten teams located within each of the ten Indiana districts. This section works with these teams in various areas and capabilities.  Additionally, this section also administers the  of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding to local public health departments, coordinates planning and exercise efforts among local public health departments, and maintains coordination and communication with local public health departments during emergency operations.

Planning and Response

The Planning and Response section is responsible for developing emergency action plans that address mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery actions as they pertain to emergency situations and disasters. The planning and response sections also act as the Emergency Support Function – 8 (ESF-8) coordinator in the Indiana State Emergency Operations Center for health and medical services. The ESF-8 coordinator works with federal, state, and local health partners during an emergency to facilitate communication and resources. The planning and response section also includes the Medical Countermeasure Management Coordinator, The Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator

  • Medical Countermeasure Management and Strategic National Stockpile
  • The MCM coordinator works closely with internal and external partners such as the Indiana State Police, Indiana National Guard, Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies to work with requests for medical assets in response to disasters and pandemics. The SNS coordinator is involved throughout all the stages of receiving, storage, and staging of materials until the final distribution to hospitals and points of distribution. The SNS coordinator works closely with an assigned CDC Public Health Advisor throughout the process.
  • Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication
  • Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication is an approach to communicating effectively during emergencies. These principles are used by public health professionals and public information officers to provide information that helps individuals, stakeholders, and entire communities make the best possible decisions for themselves and their loved ones. CERC recognizes that during emergencies, we work under impossible time constraints and must accept the imperfect nature of our choices. CERC draws from lessons learned during public health emergencies and research in the fields of public health and emergency risk communication. ISDH and all 93 Local Health Departments have CERC plans in place.
  • Volunteer Management
  • Serv-IN is a statewide electronic registration system of medical and non-medical volunteer who want to assist our local public health and healthcare system during an event or disaster. The system is managed locally to register, credential and alert volunteers. When disaster strikes, you may be asked to volunteer at the local, state or national level, depending on your credentials, interest and availability.

    Chief Nurse Consultant

    The Chief Nurse Consultant serves as a medical resource for the division.  The person in this position advises on public health and medical preparedness, medical resources and medications, explains medical conditions and situations,  and researches new medical treatments.  Projects managed by the Nurse Consultant include smallpox vaccination training, assisting disaster victims with access and functional needs, helping local communities plan for mass fatalities and pandemic influenza events.  The Nurse Consultant also plays a role in training with instructing mass antibiotic dispensing courses, mass fatality management courses, and disaster nursing to nursing students .  Finally, the Nurse Consultant supports all programs within the division by contributing to the development of  division plans, training and exercises, and logistical needs.

    Training and Exercise

    The Training and Exercise section consists of two separate program areas and provides coordinated statewide training and exercise support and guidance for the PHPER division staff, district staff, local health departments, as well as other various public health partners found at the federal, state, and local levels. Through a collaboration with state and federal partners and providers, the Training program assists with assessing training needs, developing new or identifying existing courses, providing support with requesting training courses, and direct delivery of a variety of training classes.

    The Exercise program works with federal, state and local agencies, both public health and others, to plan, develop, conduct, and evaluate exercise activities and ensure that ISDH PHPER exercise documentation and conduct follows Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) standards and guidelines. Together with the Training Program staff, the Exercise Program staff represent ISDH and PHPER when the agency has a determined role in federal, state, and local exercise activities on the planning and exercise evaluation teams as well as during the State Training and Exercise Planning Workshop hosted annually by Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS).


    Logistics is responsible for maintaining and providing resources during an emergency. Additionally, Logistics oversees the communication assets for the division including amateur radio, UHF/VHF, high frequency, and satellite communications. Additionally, the Logistics section is responsible for maintaining the department’s two emergency special operations trailers: the Communications Trailer and the Medical Supply Unit.

    Administrative Support

    The Administrative Support section is responsible for the technological and administrative needs of the division for both day to day operations and emergency response operations. The section is compromised of Grant Management and Information Technology.
  • Grant Management

    The grant management section oversees and manages the division grants from the CDC and ASPR
  • Information Technology
  • IT is responsible for developing and maintaining the computer programs necessary for daily operations and emergency operations of the division. Applications range from grant management to mass notification systems.