About Us

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Who we are​

The Maryland Department of Health Office of Preparedness and Response coordinates the state’s public health and medical response during an emergency, including:
  • ​​​​Infectious disease outbreaks and pandemics
  • Natural disasters
  • Acts of terrorism (use of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive weapons)​

Our vision is a prepared Maryland.

Programs and Initiatives

  • Local Health Readiness
    • ​Coordinate with local health departments
    • Manage federal public health emergency preparedness funding
    • Prepare and plan for public health emergencies
    • Develop trainings and exercises to test readiness
  • Identify Health Threats
    • Use the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE) to gather and analyze statewide illness-related information
    • Early detection of public health threats (pandemics, natural disasters, acts of terrorism)
  • Health Care Readiness
    • ​Work with acute care hospitals, federally qualified health centers, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and other health care entities
    • Provide funding for regional health care coalitions to develop plans, training, resources
    • Plan for a significant increase in patients during an emergency (a health system surge)
  • Emergency Response
    • ​Coordinate health and medical activities at the State Emergency Operations Center during an event or emergency
    • Distribute medication, vaccines, or medical supplies through the Strategic National Stockpile
    • Establish Points of Dispensing to distribute medical countermeasures in coordination with state and local partners

Visit our Programs page to learn more about the resources and services our staff provide before, during, and after an emergency.​