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Community Resiliency Through Intergovernmental and Library Partnerships

Macomb County, MI
Program Year: 2017

Public libraries provide many services on a day-to-day basis that could also be an asset in an emergency response. Since many citizens may need the library’s services in a widespread emergency, planning for the library system to continue its operations could greatly benefit not only the library, but also the responding agencies. The Macomb County Health Department’s (MCHD) Emergency Preparedness Program began partnering with a local library with the purpose of finding a unique and efficient way in how it provides life-saving medication to County first responders and vulnerable populations in the event of a public health emergency (i.e. bioterrorism or epidemic). A process that was tested in the fall of 2016 with a full scale exercise. The first task for the Library was to operate a Closed Point of Dispensing site specifically for their staff and family members at each of their locations. This first tier in the response would allow the library to stay open during a public health emergency. After discussing the challenges the County could face in distributing medication to all of its first responders, the Library’s plan evolved to include a second tier. This would see an entirely new way of distributing bulk medication in Michigan by utilizing the Library’s book deposit drive-thru as a pick-up site for first responders and agencies that serve a vulnerable population. The main outcomes to highlight are increased intergovernmental cooperation with local municipalities and efficiency in the way emergency medication is distributed. Additionally, MCHD was able to educate its citizens on the way it would respond to a public health emergency and how they can aid in the process. This project also saw the completion of an additional 25 Closed POD plans. The net effect is an improvement in how the Emergency Preparedness Program will respond during a disaster.

Ms. Sarah Cormier
Communications Specialist