|For Immediate Release||Contact:|
|January 23, 2006||Communications Director|
Office of the Governor
CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt will discuss state and national efforts to prepare in the event of an avian flu pandemic with health care professionals, community and business leaders, and state officials on February 7th in Manchester.
"An avian flu pandemic could be a catastrophe for the citizens of New Hampshire. We must make sure every sector of our state, including state agencies, local communities, emergency response officials, health care providers and businesses, are doing everything possible to prepare," Gov. Lynch said.
"This meeting with Secretary Leavitt will provide an important opportunity to discuss national efforts to prepare, as well as New Hampshire's ongoing initiatives," Gov. Lynch said.
The meeting, co-hosted by Gov. Lynch, the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health and the Bureau of Emergency Management, will be held from 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7th at the City of Manchester's Division of Public Health Services.
New Hampshire held a major statewide drill to test its ability to respond to a pandemic. The drill involved several communities, health care providers and numerous state agencies. Gov. Lynch requested last spring that the Department of Health and Human Services and the Bureau of Emergency Management organize the drill.
"What we learned from this drill will improve our state's ability to respond to an avian flu pandemic or any other emergency," Gov. Lynch said.
In addition, Gov. Lynch has directed the Bureau of Emergency Management to work with New Hampshire's neighboring states to develop better joint response plans for emergencies, including an avian flu pandemic.
"An Avian Flu Pandemic will not respect state borders. We need to discuss now how we would work together if a pandemic, or any other emergency, hit one of our neighboring states," Gov. Lynch said. "Communication and coordination will help protect the health and safety of the citizens of New Hampshire and New England."