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Health officials to discuss pandemic response

April 15, 2010

Health officials from around Arizona will gather at Arizona State University on April 29 to examine the response to the recent H1N1 outbreak that was declared a pandemic last year by the World Health Organization.

“The overall goal of the workshop is to figure out what worked best when coordinating activities before and during a pandemic to protect college students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Allan Markus, ASU Campus Health Service director. The university’s Pandemic Planning Committee is sponsoring the event.

The workshop, “Pandemic Planning for Higher Education and the Community: What Worked, What Didn’t and Where do we go from Here?,” will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 29 in the Memorial Union Gold Room 207.

Keynote speaker Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, will talk about pandemic planning from his agency’s perspective. He’ll discuss coordination efforts between state and federal agencies to acquire H1N1 vaccines and other issues raised during the pandemic.

Dr. Bob England, Maricopa County Health Department director, will discuss how the pandemic played out from Maricopa County’s point of view and how the county health department worked with ASU to distribute H1N1 vaccine.  

Representatives from Pima County, where the University of Arizona is located, and Coconino County, home to Northern Arizona University, are also on tap to talk about how the pandemic response worked in their counties.

Pandemic planning officials from institutions of higher education – Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona and Arizona Board of Regents representative Gail Tebeau - will examine how H1N1 pandemic planning and implementation worked at Arizona’s public universities and lessons learned after dealing with a pandemic.

The workshop concludes with a talk from Timothy Lant from ASU’s Decision Theater who will talk about pandemic modeling and lessons learned. A working roundtable lunch on steps that agencies, universities and counties can take to make operations smoother when another pandemic hits the state is the last item on the agenda.