West Virginia University at Parkersburg
300 Campus Drive Parkersburg WV 26104
Phone: 304-424-8203 | Fax: 304-424-8315
WVU Parkersburg to host Pandemic Influenza Summit Friday, March 10th.
CONTACT: Richard Wittberg, Executive Director, Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, 304-485-7374 or Martha Lamp, Training Coordinator, Threat Preparedness Unit, MOV Health Department, 304-485-7493.
MEDIA ADVISORY: A press briefing regarding the summit will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, March 10th, in the WVU Parkersburg multi-purpose room.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
How would the region be affected if a pandemic influenza outbreak occurred?
More than 300 local and state officials, health and emergency management agencies, business and community partners, and private sector representatives are expected to attend a Pandemic Influenza Summit being held Friday (March 10) at West Virginia University at Parkersburg to discuss how to prepare for such a threat.
The local summit is sponsored by the state of West Virginia and the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department in cooperation with WVU Parkersburg. One of several summits being held throughout the state, the one-day session is designed to raise awareness about the importance of planning for a pandemic flu outbreak or other health-related threat.
A pandemic is caused by a new widespread flu virus that causes severe illness and is easily passed from human to human, noted Richard Wittberg, executive director of the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department.
"The summit will address the need for awareness of the potentially local impact of a pandemic and the importance of planning for such a possibility," he added.
Among those presenting at the summit in addition to Wittberg will be James Spears, secretary, WV Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety; Dr. Catherine Slemp, executive director, Division of Threat Preparedness, WV Department of Health and Human Resources; Jimmy Gianato, director, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management/WV Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety; Roger Bibbee, Wood County Office of Emergency Management, and Martha Hardman, executive director, quality and patient safety, Roane General Hospital. Serving as moderator will be Greg Smith of Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital.
Topics will include "Calling the State to Action"; Putting Pandemics in Perspective"; "Pandemic Flu from the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Perspective"; "Overview of Emergency Response in West Virginia," and "Hospital Planning Issues."
Invitations to participate in the summit were sent to area business and government leaders, legislators, schools, hospitals, churches, businesses, emergency services and law enforcement personnel, day-care centers and area media.
Registration and lunch will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. followed by the summit in the college's multi-purpose room. The session will conclude with a panel discussion from 4:15 to 5 p.m.
Seven regional pandemic flu summits will be held around the state this spring. Additional information about the Parkersburg summit may be obtained by contacting Martha Lamp, training coordinator at the MOV Health Department, 485-7493.