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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director
    Richard Vespucci
    Beth Auerswald


For Release: August 18, 2009

DOE/DHSS to Hold Pandemic Influenza Summit for
Superintendents and Health Officers

The New Jersey Department of Education, in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, will host a pandemic influenza summit for district superintendents and local health officials at South Brunswick High School on Tuesday, August 25, Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy announced today.

"Our goal is to call attention to the need for planning for a possible statewide H1N1 outbreak before the traditional opening day of school issues take center stage," said Commissioner Davy.

"It is important that health officials and school officials collaborate on pandemic influenza plans so that we can respond in a coordinated effort as we plan for a resurgence of the H1N1 influenza virus this fall," said Heather Howard, Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

Topics to be covered at the summit include updates on the latest information from the federal Centers for Disease Control and the US Department of Education, a discussion of New Jersey's pandemic plan, guidance on school closures and the continuity of educational services and "best practices" that can help school districts develop plans to prevent the spread of H1N1 address closure issues should they arise.

The summit was originally scheduled to be held at a hotel near exit 8A of the Turnpike, but due to the overwhelming response to the initial announcement, DOE officials re-located the event to South Brunswick High School so that more attendees could be accommodated. Participant attendance is limited to district superintendents or the superintendent's designee and county and local health officials.

Reporters are welcome to cover the summit. Please call the DOE Office of Public Information at 609-292-1126 prior to the event to register.