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St. Louis County Receives Emergency Preparedness Award

Contact:  Ann Busche, Director, Public Health & Human Services, 218-726-2096


                                    NEWS RELEASE





    The St. Louis County Board will honor the Northeast Minnesota Emergency Preparedness Coalition on Tuesday, October 2, 2007 at 9:30 AM at the start of their regularly scheduled Board Meeting at the Duluth Courthouse, 100 N; 5th Avenue West.  Commissioner Steve O’Neil, Chair of Public Health and Human Services, will lead the presentation.


    On July 18, 2007 the Wolters Kluwer Health Award was presented to the Northeast Minnesota Emergency Preparedness Coalition for their work in planning for pandemic flu, at the American Medical Association/Centers for Disease Control (AMA/CDC) Second National Congress on Health System Readiness in Washington D.C.


    Out of more than 200 proposals submitted, representatives of the Northeast Minnesota Emergency Preparedness Coalition were among four selected by the AMA/CDC.    


     Presenters were:

Jim Gangl, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services

Bonnie Holz, Public Health Preparedness Consultant, Minnesota Department of Health         

John Jordan, St. Mary’s Life Flight Manager and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, SMDC Health Systems

Cheryl Stephens, Regional Hospital Resource Center Coordinator and Executive Director, Community Health Information Collaborative


     The team’s presentation focused on the integration of public health, tribal, health care leadership, emergency medical services and emergency management at the community and regional levels.  They described the integrated response that is necessary for a community-wide response to pandemic influenza and is a prototype for an all hazard approach to community readiness.


     Minnesota uses a tiered emergency response system which begins at the local/community level.  It then transitions to a regional level only when the community is overwhelmed, and finally, to a state level response as dictated by the size, scope and nature of the incident.  Each region documents their response as part of a Regional All Hazard Health and Medical Response and Recovery Plan, which is an integrated public health and healthcare system plan.  A template for this regional plan was developed by the NE Region and has been unanimously adopted by all regions of the state. 


     The NE Minnesota Emergency Preparedness Coalition is comprised of: 

(a) Governments (7 counties, 3 tribes, and 8 cities)

(b) 10 public health agencies

(c) 16 hospitals

(d) 65 clinics

 (e) Emergency Medical Services (35 ambulance services and 115 First Responder Units) 


Membership includes public safety units (police, sheriff, fire, emergency management, Coast Guard, Border Patrol, and Immigration and Naturalization Service), 17 colleges and universities, and many volunteer organizations including a strong Red Cross Chapter.   




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