Emergencies can happen at any time, but the key to successfully navigating such a situation is planning before something occurs. Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) has a dedicated Emergency Preparedness Coordinator who consults with other health personnel in the state to plan pharmacy response efforts and promotes pharmacist involvement in activities to increase knowledge, competence and preparation when called upon in an emergency situation.
Should an emergency, such as a bioterrorism event, natural disaster or infectious disease outbreak, occur in Michigan, hundreds of pharmacy professionals would be needed to dispense medications from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to protect the public and save lives. Pharmacy professionals would be volunteering at a community-based dispensing site away from the "hot zone" of an event. Pharmacists may also be called upon to assist with mass vaccination campaigns in the event of a pandemic or participate in other roles within their communities based on the type of event that occurs.
The information below will assist pharmacies and pharmacy professionals in becoming more involved in and prepared for emergency response efforts. If you have any questions, feel free to contact MPA at MPA@MichiganPharmacists.org.
Community pharmacies can partner with public health disaster response teams in the state of Michigan in the event of an emergency. The toolkit below provides information about our collaborative efforts.
Please watch the video introduction at the right featuring Greg Pratt, R.Ph., former MPA emergency preparedness coordinator from 2006-2016. Click on the black bars below to access additional links and resources that provide more information about this opportunity for your community pharmacy site(s). Feel free to contact Michigan Pharmacists Association with any questions or concerns at MPA@MichiganPharmacists.org.
A successful response to a declared emergency event affecting our community is accomplished through pre-event planning and relationship building. Response planners at all levels recognize that pharmacies could play a major role as primary dispensing sites within their communities, and pharmacists can be valuable assets as healthcare personnel. During an emergency, the existing pharmaceutical supply chain utilized by community pharmacies could assist distribution of recommended pharmaceutical countermeasures specific to an event.
Knowing that nearly all Americans live within five miles of a community pharmacy, pharmacies are valuable assets in response efforts. Maximizing pharmacy efforts during an event will help our communities. Pharmacists can dispense emergency medications, administer vaccines, partner with public health officials to disseminate important information and conducting health screenings. Community pharmacists are well positioned, trusted and capable of playing a significant role when requested, and this project offers an opportunity to begin building relationships with our public health partners now. If we are a part of the plan, we will be a part of the solution!
For questions and inquiries, please contact MPA at MPA@MichiganPharmacists.org.
This list provides state and local public health departments with contact information for community pharmacies willing to be contacted in an emergency to help with response activities. The list is updated as new pharmacies agree to be partners in the project. If you are interested in becoming an official community pharmacy partner and being added to the list, please complete the electronic form online or printable form. You will be asked to grant MPA permission to include your business name, location, contact name and contact phone number in the listing.
Pharmacy professionals play an important role in responding to emergency events, such as natural disasters or infectious disease outbreaks. They are called upon to urgently dispense medications from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to protect the public and save lives. They may also serve other functions in their communities depending on the type of emergency.
Knowledge of the precepts of incident command is essential to any person involved in disaster response. This organized approach to response allows all responders to work under pre-established guidelines of command and communication that help ensure an organized and successful response effort. These programs are free, and can be completed through the following Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Independent study website addresses:
IS 700 is an introduction to the National Incident Management System (NIMS). After successful completion of each program, a certificate can be printed and saved to show successful completion of these programs.
Continuing Education Credit - These programs are accredited for continuing education credit through the Michigan Board of Pharmacy for three hours each. To earn continuing education credit, simply click on each of the above program links and complete the courses and obtain certificates for each course. Then, complete the Application for State of Michigan CE Credit for FEMA Incident Command Training by clicking here and submit the completed application and copy of the program certificates to Michigan Pharmacists Association who will validate successful completion and return a continuing education certificate to you for your records. Please note that credit for these courses will not be submitted to CPE Monitor; therefore, you must retain the continuing education certificate as proof of completion.
MI-TRAIN has many emergency preparedness courses pertaining to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), mass antibiotic dispensing, CHEMPACK and others. MI-TRAIN also tracks your training and maintains a permanent record of courses completed.
These courses below discuss various pharmaceutical caches and deployment plans. Decisions to request and utilize these caches requires the input and expertise of many partners, including pharmacists, to ensure a fast and efficient pharmaceutical countermeasure response to an emergency situation.
Many other courses are available through MI-TRAIN that you may find relevant and interesting. Simply search the database, enroll yourself (if allowed for that particular program) and learn new things.
MI-TRAIN Log-in Instructions
Role of the Community Pharmacist in Emergency Preparedness
Explore the role of the community pharmacist in emergency preparedness efforts. This document describes the essential role of pharmacists as emergency responders in their community.
Local Health Department Emergency Preparedness Coordinators
Emergency preparedness coordinators for local health departments are good points of contact for pharmacists with questions regarding emergency preparedness activities in their communities. These people are charged with building plans to receive Strategic National Stockpile assets and mass dispense them to their communities. Establishing a relationship prior to an event will make an emergency response more efficient, and other opportunities for partnership may emerge.
State Medication Caches
The Michigan Volunteer Registry was launched in January 2006 by the Michigan Department of Community Health Office of Public Health Preparedness, now the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness Division. A growing list of willing volunteers from the state of Michigan and out-of-state border counties is currently being maintained.
The purpose of this system is to provide a secure, electronic environment for volunteers to indicate their volunteer interests and contact information. In the event of a public health disaster, the registry functions as the central repository for volunteer information. The information can be queried and appropriate volunteers contacted by e-mail or text pager (if appropriate).
Using that information, volunteers will be contacted by authorized personnel. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, behavioral health providers, emergency medical services personnel, ancillary support staff and other individuals interested in helping are encouraged to register. Registration is essential prior to an event so that volunteers can be credentialed. Volunteers will have their license and employer (for hospital pharmacists) verified to determine the credential level. Only credentialed volunteers will be able to serve in an actual emergency. Volunteers will also have access to current information regarding events, exercises, drills, general knowledge and training.
Please visit the MI Volunteer Registry website for additional information.