The East Central Health District - which includes McDuffie County - recently became the first district in the nation to be designated as "Public Health Ready" by the National Association of County and City Health Officials.
According to a press release from the ECHD, the successful practices that the district implemented to receive the designation will now serve as an example for other districts across the nation.
That fact is a source of pride for people like McDuffie County resident Jerry Harden, who is the strategic national stockpile program manager for the ECHD. He said the district is proactive instead of reactionary.
"That's just the way our district is. We don't like to wait for somebody to come up with an idea. We're always looking for ways to improve," Mr. Harden said.
The press release states the designation "reiterates the strength of ECHD's preparedness plans and grants the district a higher confidence level. We are prepared to manage, respond and recover from any public health disaster."
It goes on to state that the ECHD will now have an increased ability to gather funding sources to help improve emergency preparation. The year of work toward the designation consisted of regional planning for many types of health-related disasters.
The ECHD consists of 13 counties in the CSRA. All of the counties assisted with the designation by compiling and submitting a Local Emergency Operations Plan.