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HHS Workshop - Pandemic Influenza & Communicating

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  • HHS Workshop - Pandemic Influenza & Communicating

    Pandemic Influenza--Past, Present, Future: Communicating Today Based on the Lessons from the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic

    attending were:

    Suzy DeFrancis, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    Bruce Gellin, Director, National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO)

    John Barry, Historian and Author

    Dr. Richard Hatchett, Associate Director for Radiation Countermeasures Research and Emergency Preparedness at the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases

  • #2
    Welcome and Opening Remarks

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD>Suzy DeFrancis, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    John Barry is required reading at HHS headquarters. He has sold a lot of books and has spoken a number of times to senior staff. Congratulations to all of you for being here, because it is what we do beforehand that is important when a disaster strikes. This is why President Bush launched the national strategy for responding to an influenza pandemic. All government agencies are working hard to implement the strategy.
    HHS has a leadership role in many of these implementation activities. Therefore, Secretary Leavitt went all over the country to conduct pandemic flu summits to ?kick-off? planning efforts at the state and local level. This was quite an undertaking, as he conducted 50 state summits in three months! The goal of the summits was to encourage planning at all levels of government throughout the country.
    One of the things the Secretary has recognized is that communication is as important as any other part of the response. Communication has been referred to as the ?social Tamiflu.? We at HHS recognize that if an influenza pandemic occurs, we will be the first generation to be faced with the additional demands of the 24-hour news cycle. Therefore, we must inform, but not inflame.



    • #3
      Re: HHS Workshop - Pandemic Influenza &amp; Communicating

      The above report was very informative, but my biggest take was that HHS is well aware of the enormity of their task. However, there are no easy solutions. They may well be "doing the best they can" but yet it will not have the desired outcome.

      I think they see the train....very clearly.

      "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation