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For Release:
June 06, 2003

Clifton R. Lacy, M.D.

For Further Information Contact:
Donna Leusner

New Jersey Exercises Bioterrorism Preparedness Plan


New Jersey’s top health and law enforcement officials participated in a “tabletop” exercise yesterday designed to test existing policies and procedures in the event of a suspected case of smallpox in New Jersey. The event was hosted by the Department of Health and Senior Services, in collaboration with the New Jersey State Police.


Cabinet-level participants included Commissioner of Health and Senior Services Clifton R. Lacy, M.D., and Acting Attorney General Peter Harvey.  Also represented were hospital health care, state and local public health and emergency management, the New Jersey State Police, the FBI and the Judiciary.


The exercise, held in Trenton, tested New Jersey’s preparedness plans, focusing on roles, responsibilities, policies, and procedures related to obtaining biological samples from infected patients.


“New Jersey has developed plans to prepare for and respond to terrorist attacks. Yesterday’s event exercised and tested aspects of the plans. Multi-disciplinary involvement in exercises is critical since integration and coordination of public health, health care, emergency management and law enforcement across the state are key to the success of the plans,” Commissioner Lacy said.


"Close cooperation among agencies of state government and between state government and its federal and local counterparts will be essential in treatment of an actual bioterror incident," Acting Attorney General Harvey said. 


This exercise is one of a series hosted by the Department of Health and Senior Services and the State Police.  The exercises are designed to address preparedness and response to potential biological, chemical, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats to the health of New Jerseyans.



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