Media Release: Ottawa County Department of Public Health Receives National and State of Michigan Recognition for Public Health Emergency and Disaster Response Planning


April 11, 2023 | For Immediate Release

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Alison Clark, Communications Specialist | 616-494-5597

 Ottawa County Department of Public Health Receives
National Recognition for Public Health Emergency and Disaster Response Planning

Department also receives State of Michigan recognition for its “untiring commitment to the health and safety of the community”

(HOLLAND, MI.) – The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is proud to announce it has received national recognition for its ability to plan for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies and disasters for the second consecutive time by Project Public Health Ready (PPHR). PPHR is given through a partnership between the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, OCDPH has also received the Jean Chabut Health Policy Champion Award from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for excellence in public health emergency preparedness.

OCDPH is one of only eight local health departments in the nation being recognized for its emergency preparedness capabilities in 2022. OCDPH was also recognized by PPHR for its preparedness from 2017 to 2021.

To be recognized by PPHR, OCDPH met comprehensive preparedness benchmarks, confirming that it has a thorough and coordinated emergency response plan in place, and that staff have the training necessary to protect the health of the community during an emergency. Local health departments recognized by PPHR undergo a rigorous evaluation by peer review to assess their ability to meet a set of national standards for public health preparedness. These standards align with federal government requirements and other national best practices.

PPHR recognition also requires local health departments to collaborate with their state, local, and community partners to develop plans that account for all the constituents in their jurisdictions, demonstrating the importance of the local health department’s understanding of the needs of its community and residents.

“This honor is exceedingly well-deserved because it reflects tremendous effort, dedication, creativity and cooperation on the part of our entire team of experts,” noted Adeline Hambley, Administrative Health Officer. “I am very proud our team has been recognized for the second time by PPHR for our high level of preparedness. We will continue to improve our ability to quickly and effectively respond to future public health emergencies.”

 OCDPH has responded to many public health emergencies in recent years, including:

  • A multistate outbreak investigation of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) in 2022.
  • Ebola outbreaks in 2014, and again in 2022, requiring the monitoring of people who traveled to or from affected areas in Africa.
  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis response in 2021.
  • Legionnaire’s disease investigation at an Ottawa County hotel in 2021.
  • PFAS-contaminated drinking water response in Robinson Township at Robinson Elementary
    School in 2018.
  • Multi-state recurring Salmonella outbreak and investigation involving an Ottawa County hatchery and multiple state and federal agencies in 2018.
  • Monitored Avian Influenza outbreaks occurring in multiple recent years.

“The Ottawa County Department of Public Health has always been a partner and collaborator of Corewell Health in preparing for and responding to any health emergency that might impact the Ottawa County community,” said Julie Bulson, DNP, MPA, RN, NE-BC, Director of Business Assurance, Corewell Health.

OCDPH is also part of Ottawa County’s emergency management response team and works with emergency management leadership to address public health issues resulting from disasters such as chemical spills, radiological/nuclear exposure incidents, weather-related events, and environmental matters. The Department assisted Ottawa County Emergency Management in responding to homes at risk of falling into Lake Michigan due to soil erosion in 2019.

“OCDPH preparedness staff members bring a vast depth of knowledge and experience to the County’s response team,” said Lou Hunt, Ottawa County Emergency Management Director. “That experience is not limited to health emergencies. The Department’s ability to plan for the needs of our citizens empowers the County to be resilient in the face of any hazard.”

Jean Chabut Health Policy Champion Award

OCDPH was also awarded the Jean Chabut Health Policy Champion Award from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for achieving PPHR re-recognition. The award is given to individuals or organizations for their significant contributions toward the health and well-being of Michigan citizens in the policy arena at the local and/or state level. OCDPH received the award on Tuesday, April 11, as part of Michigan Public Health Week.

OCDPH will receive the PPHR award at the 2023 Public Health Preparedness Summit hosted by NACCHO in Atlanta, Georgia during the week of April 24. For more information on Project Public Health Ready, visit

Ottawa County Department of Public Health
The Ottawa County Department of Public Health works with our community to help assure conditions that promote and protect health. OCDPH’s vision is healthy people. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook @miOttawaHealth, Instagram @miOCDPH or Twitter @miOCDPH.

National Association of County and City Health Officials
NACCHO, the voice of the nearly 3,000 local health departments across the country, provides resources to help local health department leaders develop public health policies and programs to ensure that communities have access to vital programs and services that people need to keep them protected from disease and disaster. Its mission is to be a leader, partner, catalyst, and voice for local health departments in order to ensure the conditions that promote health and equity, combat disease, and improve the quality and length of all lives.

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Jean Chabut Award Photo

*Photo caption from left: Dr. Sarah Lyon-Callo, Interim Senior Deputy Director of the Public Health Administration for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services; Jennifer D. Sorek, MA, MEP, Public Health Preparedness Coordinator, OCDPH; Adeline Hambley, MBA, REHS, Administrative Health Officer, OCDPH