In 2017, during the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, deployed Public Health Service officers on the Homestead AFB tarmac coordinated the movement of Caribbean evacuees to Atlanta, GA.
“PHERST is a unique clinical and safety asset that balances regular active duty with speed, agility, and deployment precision required to strengthen USPHS Commissioned Corps’ capacity to forge ahead innovatively in its response to pressing public health threats while creating history.”
-CAPT Wanza Bacon, DrPH, MBA, BSN, RN
Active duty officers who are “first on the ground.” PHERST is available to deploy immediately (within 8 hours) at the request of the President, the Secretary of Health, the Assistant Secretary for Health, or the Surgeon General.
Deploy for extended durations (30-60-90 days) if needed.
When not deployed, PHERST officers train, maintain skills, and fill short-term staffing in agencies.
Offer advanced clinical competencies and innovative techniques required for community stabilization.
When public health emergencies arise, USPHS Commissioned Corps leverages active duty and reserve corps officers to lead and support public health missions. Combining active duty PHERST and Regular Corps with the Ready Reserve Corps allows the Public Health Service to respond rapidly and effectively.
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