Let’s Work Together
The Public Health Preparedness Summit, held at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta last week, brought together experts in public health and shed light on lessons learned during the H1N1 pandemic. The summit opened with strong statements from Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius who spoke about the H1N1 pandemic.
“The flu is still circulating and is still a deadly disease,” she told the audience.
Sebelius also acknowledged that there are improvements to be made in preparedness strategies for public health emergencies, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and technology as factors of success. She called for investments in technologies to improve vaccine production. An investigation is currently being conducted into current vaccine technologies, led by Dr. Nicole Currie, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response with the HHS.
In addition to the nuts and bolts of pandemic response, Sebelius recognized the importance of collaboration in addressing emergencies. She outlined the new partnerships that were forged between public health officials and education, business, and medical industries.
Public health officials coordinated their messaging with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. This may have led to the higher rates of H1N1 vaccination than usual rates of seasonal influenza vaccination among pregnant women.
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