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Healthcare Preparedness

Helping communities improve healthcare delivery during large-scale emergencies

Healthcare preparedness and response enables the health care delivery system to save lives during emergencies and disaster events that exceed the day-to-day capacity and capability of existing health and emergency response systems.

ORAU healthcare preparedness experts conduct exercises; organize, facilitate and evaluate key stakeholder meetings; and develop state and local planning tools to help communities across the United States improve their healthcare preparedness and delivery during an emergency or event.

Small group of adults in masks taking instruction from emergency personnel

What we offer

ORAU has been supporting CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program since the development of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Extranet in 2003. Our experts work with federal agencies and national preparedness organizations by providing the following services:

  • Federal, state and local Emergency Operations Center (EOC) support
  • Healthcare system surge drills
  • Mass fatality drills
  • Operational guidance during emergencies

Industries we serve

  • Federal preparedness agencies
  • State, local and territorial public health departments
  • Preparedness professionals
  • National preparedness organizations and agencies
ORAU awarded contract to build workforce capacity for rural and frontier health departments in response to COVID-19

ORAU awarded contract to build workforce capacity for rural and frontier health departments in response to COVID-19

ORAU was awarded a contract to provide tailored training and technical assistance in public health communication to rural and frontier health department awardees for the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). This work aims to build the workforce capacity of local health departments related to their COVID-19 contact tracing and testing and vaccine administration efforts.

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Community Planning Framework for Healthcare Preparedness cover

ORAU supports development of CDC’s Community Planning Framework

ORAU developed the Community Planning Framework for Healthcare Preparedness for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR) Healthcare Preparedness and Response Team (HPRT).

The Community Planning Framework for Healthcare Preparedness is a tool for community planners to use to enhance existing community plans for medical surge or to develop new plans from the beginning.

ORAU provided technical writing, stakeholder coordination, and web design and architecture to develop this healthcare preparedness product.

Our Experts

Freddy Gray

Freddy Gray, M.P.H.

Expertise: Public health and healthcare preparedness, medical countermeasures, team dynamics, strategic planning

Gray has more than 25 years of experience managing and supervising public health and healthcare system preparedness and response programs involving medical countermeasures to help mitigate the surge of patients due to a public health emergency.

Certification: Master Certified Health Education Specialist

Will Artley

Will Artley

Expertise: Document design and development, technical writing and editing, emergency response exercise design and information synthesis


  • “Supply Chain Disaster Preparedness Manual,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), December 2017
  • “Pandemic Influenza Electronic Exercise Tool,” CDC, September 2017
  • “How to Develop Medical Surge Planning Workshops,” CDC, June 2017
Kara Stephens

Kara Stephens, M.P.H., M.S.A.

Expertise: Public health emergency preparedness program (PHEP) management, health communication and education, social marketing, social media

Stephens has more than 12 years of experience leading national health communication and education initiatives in support of the nation’s health security efforts.

Certification: Certified Health Education Specialist, ThinkTank Certified Facilitator, Adobe Illustrator and Indesign Certified Expert

Contact us

For information about ORAU’s health communication, preparedness and response solutions, contact Freddy Gray, director, Health Communication and Preparedness programs, at 865.576.0029 or