Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) has received the National Health Security Award from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in recognition of its extensive medication distribution system that helps protect the citizens of Hamilton County from bioterrorism.

L-R:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Edward Gabriel, Hamilton County Health Commissioner Tim Ingram, Hamilton County Assistant Health Commissioner Craig Davidson, NACCHO President Kevin Sumner, NACCHO CEO Lori Tremmel Freeman. Photo courtesy of NACCHO.

In the event of a public health emergency such as a biological release or a pandemic flu, HCPH has implemented a system throughout the County to quickly and efficiently get medication to large numbers of people.  HCPH operates 35 open points-of-dispensing (POD) sites at strategic locations throughout the County.  Supplemented by a closed POD system that serves skilled nursing facilities and businesses throughout the County, the system is designed to dispense medications to the 480,000-plus citizens served by HCPH.

“In the event of an emergency, we can get potentially lifesaving medications out to citizens through this community-based system,” says Hamilton County Health Commissioner Tim Ingram.  “In an incident, we can stand up these sites and have citizens pick up medications for their families in close proximity to where they live or work.”

The distribution system is regularly evaluated and exercised to make sure it is ready and that staff and partners are comfortable in their roles.  “We couldn’t do this without the support of our volunteers,” Ingram adds.  “We work very closely with first responders, local governments and community volunteers to make sure we have experienced POD managers and workers ready at a moment’s notice.”

For information on volunteering at a POD site, visit:  http://www.swoph.org/abouttristate.htm or call 513-946-7889.

Hamilton County Public Health works to assure the 480,000 citizens living outside the cities of Cincinnati, Norwood and Springdale are safe from disease, injury and contamination.