Region 6 Public Health Emergency Preparedness & Response Experts (PHEPR)

September 29, 2023 – A contract has been awarded to Tulane’s Center for Applied Environmental Public Health by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office of Readiness and Response (ORR) to prepare a workplan for the establishment of a network of regional Centers for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (PHEPR).

CDC ORR’s Office of Applied Research (OAR) has awarded a total of eight institutions to support the creation of seven regional PHEPRs and to provide national coordination, technical assistance, and training in support of the regional work plan efforts. Regional workplan contracts were awarded to institutions in seven of the ten Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regions.

The Center for Applied Environmental Public Health’s Project will assist in planning for the HHS Region 6, which includes the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The project will establish a coordinating body made of key Region 6 stakeholders to identify specific needs and gaps in public health emergency preparedness and response practices at the state and local levels. 
The project is led by Tulane’s Center for Applied Environmental Public Health new director and assistant professor, Stephen Murphy, PhD, former director and professor, LuAnn White, PhD, and University Medical Center’s and LCMC Health’s Associate Chief Medical Officer for Emergency Management, Jeff Elder, MD. Current PhD student, Summyr Burton, MPH, will serve as the Senior Program Manager.

“Through intentional and anticipatory planning, collaborative new partnerships, expansion of existing partnerships, and knowledge sharing, this award allows us to enhance the uptake of evidence-based interventions to improve public health preparedness and emergency response across Region 6 and perhaps beyond,” said Dr. Murphy. Dr. Murphy further suggests, “at Tulane and the Center for Applied Environmental Public Health, our experiences with PHEPR research, translation, communication, and field-based implementation are vast as is the experience among our partners we will engage throughout the project, which include state and local leaders in our five states. The project promises to enrich our understanding of challenges and share strategic pathways forward to overcome them.”

In addition to Tulane, other awardees across the U.S. include Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Nebraska Medical Center, University of Utah, University of Washington, and the Public Health Institute.

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