Flu on Call™ and Antiviral Dispensing and Distribution Workgroups April Report

The Flu on Call™ ad hoc workgroup (previously the Nurse Triage Line Workgroup) and the Antiviral Dispensing and Distribution ad hoc workgroup have agreed to hold joint monthly meetings beginning April 14.

During their first joint conference call, members discussed a NACCHO policy statement currently under revision (“Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Procurement and Distribution”). Members made content recommendations and voted whether to revise or to scrap the current version.

A debrief of the 2014 Preparedness Summit followed. Joe Cropley (Project Manager, Washington Poison Center) talked about presenting at the conference and audience feedback he received, while Robert Einweck (Emergency Preparedness Manager, St. Paul – Ramsey County Public Health) discussed the Summit Point-of-Dispensing exercise. Cindy Morgan (Preparedness Planning & Special Projects, Salt Lake County Health Department) discussed her experience as an attendee of the all-day session, Innovative Methods to Improve Access to Pandemic Influenza Countermeasures, which the workgroups helped organize. Cindy Morgan also discussed her health department’s March 2014 Pharmacy Exercise, which several NACCHO staff attended. Cindy reported that pharmacy participants were eager to be involved in, and learn about, pandemic preparedness and response. She recommended health departments provide something in return for pharmacies participation, like assistance with their state-required preparedness plans.

Before adjourning the meeting, Sara Rubin (Senior Program Analyst, NACCHO) touched on a draft NACCHO policy statement (“Enhancing Medication Dispensing during Emergencies through Public Health and Pharmacies,” working title), which two University of Maryland School of Pharmacy students, with NACCHO staff, are now writing. Next month’s meeting will be shortened to accommodate a pharmacy stakeholders’ conference call that workgroup members will attend.

About Erin Roberts

Erin Roberts, MPH, is a Program Analyst on the Environmental Health, Pandemic Preparedness, and Catastrophic Response team at NACCHO. Her work includes broadening the public's access to medical countermeasures during a severe pandemic, fostering collaboration between public health and pharmacy, and contributing to NACCHO's food safety initiatives.

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