Whether natural, accidental, or intentional, public health threats are always present and can lead to
public health emergencies. Public health departments and communities that are prepared to prevent,
respond to, and rapidly recover from public health threats are critical to protecting and securing the
nation’s public health.
CDC plays a pivotal role in ensuring that state and local public health systems are prepared for any
public health emergency. The agency provides critical funding and technical assistance for state,
local, and territorial public health departments through the Public Health Emergency Preparedness
cooperative agreement program (PHEP program).
Following the September 2001 terrorist attacks and later anthrax events, Congress appropriated
funding to CDC to expand its support of state and local public health preparedness nationwide.
Although these programs have made great progress since then, state and local public health
departments and their respective preparedness programs and communities face many challenges.
Federal funds for preparedness have been steadily declining: since 9/11, PHEP funding has decreased
more than 42 percent. This makes it difficult for states to sustain the significant, measurable
advances they have made in public health preparedness since 2001.
The public health preparedness community must speak with one voice to raise awareness about the
preparedness accomplishments that the PHEP program and its dedicated champions have achieved
over the past 15 years. Together, we can continue the important work of building stronger, more
About this Toolkit
ASTHO developed this communication toolkit for PHEP awardees, champions, and others interested
in advancing PHEP program awareness. ASTHO hopes to amplify the public health preparedness
community’s voice in order to educate leaders and public health stakeholders about the PHEP
accomplishments that keep our communities protected and prepared.
Please use this toolkit and the accompanying template messages and communication products to
educate the target audiences listed below about the importance of the PHEP program. If you have
feedback or suggestions for improving this toolkit, please contact Heather Misner, ASTHO’s director
of preparedness and clinical outreach.
To download and view the Toolkit in its entirety, follow the link below:
PHEP Communications Toolkit.pdf