Emergency Preparedness and Infection Control Education

The Bethlehem Health Bureau encourages citizens and businesses to become prepared for & respond to natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and other potential emergencies that may impact the health & safety of the community.

Each year, Health Bureau staff attends and presents to a variety of community organizations and events, such as health fairs, block watch meetings, civic organizations, schools and other locations to educate and encourage citizens to "get ready" utilizing an all-hazards approach, focusing on personal, business, and pet preparedness. Our goal is to increase knowledge and preparedness among City of Bethlehem residents and stakeholders through educational programs emphasizing the four P’s of preparedness: Plan, Prepare, Practice, and Protect.

The Bethlehem Health Bureau also provides infection control education to city residents, businesses, organizations, and the school district, through presentations and the interactive Glitterbug program. Glitterbug has been utilized at schools in the Bethlehem Area School District, pre-schools, Bethlehem City Hall, senior centers and community & business health fairs.

Strengthening Emergency Response

Health departments are increasingly recognized as playing an important role in all-hazards emergency preparedness and response. Since 2006, the Bethlehem Health Bureau has actively strengthened and increased our capacity and capability to plan for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies by continuously meeting the criteria to be recognized as Project Public Health Ready through NACCHO.  We are committed to actively engaging and partnering with federal, state, municipal, and community partners to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our citizens, and increase our staff’s skills and knowledge through the development, implementation, and evaluation of public health-related emergency drills, exercises, and trainings.

Glitterbug Program Objectives

The primary function of the Glitterbug program is as an educational tool to increase awareness and facilitate meaningful changes in hand washing behaviors necessary to improve all levels of community infection control prevention.

The objective of the Glitterbug Program is to:
  1. Enhance awareness of the importance of hand washing using science based education for youth, adults, and older Americans preparing food in the home.
  2. Improve effectiveness and frequency of hand washing reaching a diverse audience in rural and urban settings including children, adults, senior citizens, and at-risk population groups.
  3. Modify attitudes, enhance personal motivation, and facilitate positive behavior change for hand washing.