July 15, 2009
Preparing for H1N1 Flu and Other Public Health Emergencies
2009 Illinois Public Health Emergency Preparedness Summit – “Strengthening Illinois Through Community Engagement”
OAK BROOK, Ill. – The on-going H1N1 flu pandemic highlights the importance of being prepared for any emergency, including a public health emergency. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA) have joined forces to co-sponsor the 2009 Illinois Public Health Emergency Preparedness Summit, “Strengthening Illinois Through Community Engagement.” The summit is designed to give participants the opportunity to share ideas and learn how to best prepare for public health emergencies, natural disasters, environmental health accidents, terrorist attacks or disease outbreaks.
“Public health emergency preparedness is one of the state’s top priorities and our years of preparing for a pandemic influenza has helped us reduce the impacts of the novel H1N1 influenza virus in Illinois,” said Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois Department of Public Health Director. “It is imperative we join together as a unified community to prepare our state in the event of a natural disaster or public health threat. This annual summit is an opportunity for public health professionals involved in emergency preparedness, planning and response to work together to better protect the health and safety of the citizens of Illinois.”
The multidisciplinary program benefits public health, environmental health, nursing, communicable disease, laboratory, food protection, immunization, hospital, allied health and other emergency response professionals. A variety of workshops, exercises and roundtable discussions will take place during the summit and cover such topics as preparing for the upcoming fall flu season, faith-based community preparedness efforts, foodborne illness response strategies, hazardous substances, emergency shelter assessment, school preparedness activities and improving mental health responses during disasters.
“The emergency preparedness summit provides IPHA members with an opportunity to partner with other state and local agencies to strengthen the emergency preparedness and response system in Illinois,” said Illinois Public Health Association Executive Director James Nelson. “The summit has become a key educational opportunity for our membership, public health professional and emergency response personnel and I am pleased that this year we are also gaining national attention and participation via satellite and webcast offerings.”
This year’s keynote speakers and topics include:
New to the summit this year is an awards reception and book singing event. Service awards will be presented to faith-based community organizations for their work in preparedness and response and for outstanding community service. Following the awards ceremony, the event will feature several well-known public health and preparedness authors.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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