In public health emergencies, such as communicable disease outbreaks or biological or chemical releases, the health department serves as a leader in the response and has a much larger responsibility throughout the entire response. For instance, public health may provide medication or vaccination to the populations exposed to pandemic influenza, anthrax release, or other biological releases. The health department also conducts medical surveillance and lab testing to determine the extent of the outbreak. In addition, the health department actively seeks to mitigate the effects of the outbreak by educating the public on how to minimize the spread of the disease or protect themselves from exposure.
For more information on public health emergencies, please visit the CDC’s website
If the health department needs to provide medication or vaccination to the entire population (or to an exposed segment of the population), then they will stand up a mass clinic. The affected public will be asked to report to the clinic to receive medication in an organized way, such as alphabetically by last name or according to voting district. Once at the clinic, individuals must complete health history forms, which will be used to determine whether they are eligible for the medications and to track medications dispensed. You can save yourself time by filling out the form and keeping it with your emergency kit. Bring the form with you to the clinic to bypass part of the registration process.
These forms are called NAPH (Name, Address, Phone Number and Health History) forms. A one page and three page form is available. The one-page form will be used by healthy individuals. The three page form should be used by people with medical conditions because it captures more information about the medical condition to help the health department determine whether you are eligible to receive the medication.
1 PAGE NAPH FORM 3 PAGE NAPH FORM
As with all emergencies, please visit local media outlets for important information regarding public health emergencies. Specific instructions on where and when to receive medication, exposure prevention strategies, and other important information will be broadcast on local radio stations, published in the local newspaper, and updated on our website.