Virginia Beach Department of Public Health Re-Recognized for "Public Health Ready" Recognition Program

Virginia Beach Department of Public Health Protects the City from Emergencies and Disasters Through National “Public Health Ready” Recognition Program

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

​VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – January 28, 2015 - The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health (VBDPH) has been re-recognized by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) for its ability to plan for, respond to and recover from public health emergencies. The VBDPH demonstrated these capabilities by meeting the comprehensive preparedness benchmarks required by Project Public Health Ready (PPHR), a unique partnership between NACCHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Having first met these standards five years ago, the VBDPH has once again demonstrated an ongoing commitment to preparedness and continuous quality improvement. The VBDPH re-joins a cohort of nearly 400 local health departments across the country that have been distinguished for excellence in preparedness through PPHR, either individually or as part of a region.


We are proud to have been re-recognized by Project Public Health Ready for our high level of preparedness,” said Dr. Heidi Kulberg, Health Director for the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health. “We will continue to improve our ability to quickly and effectively respond to any public health crisis in the City of Virginia Beach.”


PPHR re-recognition confirms that the VBDPH has a thorough and coordinated emergency response plan in place and that staff have the training to protect the health of the community during an emergency. Local health departments re-recognized by PPHR undergo a rigorous evaluation by peer review to assess their ability to meet a set of national standards for public health preparedness. These standards align with federal government requirements and other national best practices.


PPHR re-recognition also requires health departments to collaborate with their state, local and community partners to develop plans that account for all the constituents in their jurisdictions.


The VBDPH routinely participates in emergency preparedness meetings to include the city's  Emergency Preparedness Committee, the Eastern Virginia Healthcare Coalition (EVHC) and the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). During these meetings, the VBDPH contributes to emergency preparedness planning to support activities such as the Rock n Roll Marathon, the NAS Oceana Air Show, the Neptune Festival and shelter operations.  Additionally, the VBDPH conducts an annual mass flu shot clinic which demonstrates the City’s Point of Dispensing (POD) concept to distribute large quantities of commodities and/or medication to the public in a short period of time.


“All disasters strike locally, and local health departments are a critical part of any community’s first response to disease outbreaks, emergencies, and acts of terrorism,” said Robert Pestronk, NACCHO Executive Director. “NACCHO commends the VBDPH for being a model of public health emergency preparedness.”


NACCHO, the voice of the 2,800 local health departments across the country, provides resources to help local health department leaders develop public health policies and programs to ensure that communities have access to vital programs and services that people need to keep them protected from disease and disaster. Its mission is to be a leader, partner, catalyst, and voice for local health departments in order to ensure the conditions that promote health and equity, combat disease, and improve the quality and length of all lives.


For more information on Project Public Health Ready, including recognized sites, project tools, and resources, visit .