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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
May 28, 2009

Heather Howard
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160


 
Pandemic Influenza Awareness Program Released


 

Health Commissioner Heather Howard and Homeland Security and Preparedness Director Richard Cañas announced today the release of an online Pandemic Influenza Awareness Program that will help individuals prepare for an influenza pandemic.

 

This program was funded by the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and was developed by NJ Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) and Rutgers University.  

 

“The current H1N1 influenza outbreak is proof that we all need to prepare for an influenza pandemic,” said Governor Corzine. “By providing New Jersey residents valuable information on how to prepare and protect themselves and their families before a pandemic occurs, we will take a large step in reducing illness.”

 

“Public awareness and education is one our most potent weapons against any disease outbreak, but especially a pandemic,” said Commissioner Howard. “When individuals have information they can use, it can significantly reduce the amount of anxiety and confusion that can occur during a pandemic and can keep people healthy.”

 

The program underwent extensive review by NJDHSS staff and external partners.  Pilot testing by employees in both public and private sectors was conducted April 20 – May 1. 

 

The program will be available in two versions:  Print and Multimedia.  Each will be in English and Spanish.  This initial release is the Print version in English.  It can be accessed at:  www.nj.gov/health/training/panflu.  The others will soon follow. 

 

"The flu awareness program furthers our preparedness efforts. The useful information found in the program will serve as an important resource should another outbreak occur," said Director Canas.

 

While appropriate for all New Jerseyans, this program particularly targets employees and employers.  The print version can be:

  • read online
  • printed out for employees who do not have computer access
  • downloaded onto CDs
  • downloaded onto an organization’s intranet

 

Upon completion of the program people should:

·         Understand the impact a flu pandemic may have in a community and what community leaders may need to do to reduce the impact

·         Be able to develop a Pandemic Flu Personal Emergency Plan

·         Know how to reduce your risk of getting the flu and spreading it to others

·         Know how to provide flu care at home

·         Understand where you can get help for the emotional stress a flu pandemic may cause

·         Know how to identify reliable sources of public health information

 

In May 2006, Governor Corzine held a cabinet level pan flu tabletop exercise. An observation in the After Action Report was that there was a lack of awareness about pandemic flu.  The NJDHSS was tasked with conducting a focus group to determine a course of action; this program is the outcome. 

 
 
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