SPRINGFIELD – Next week, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will test the ability of the state public health system to receive and distribute medicine and medical supplies during a public health emergency. In the event of an emergency severe enough to cause local medical supplies to run out (terrorist attack, flu outbreak, earthquake, etc.), the State can request what is called the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The SNS is a national repository of antibiotics, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, life-support medications, airway maintenance supplies, and medical/surgical items. The SNS is designed to supplement and re-supply state and local public health agencies in the event of a national emergency.
“The anthrax attacks in 2001 and the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic highlight the importance of being prepared for various health threats,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “And that preparation requires continual and coordinated efforts between all levels of government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and individuals. This exercise will allow us to identify any gaps we have in our plan to quickly distribute medicines during an emergency.”
Next week’s exercise will simulate an anthrax release. It will require the State to request the SNS from the federal government, receive packages of supplies within 12 hours of the request, break down the packages, and distribute them across the state to locations where medicine is needed. Numerous local health departments and hospitals across the state will simulate receiving the SNS supplies and dispensing medicine to people who have volunteered to act as the public coming to pick up medicine.
The State regularly conducts training and SNS deployment exercises to evaluate the strength of the SNS plan and improve various aspects as needed.
IDPH will host a brief webinar for media on June 9, 2016, at 10 a.m. to provide an overview of the SNS and the exercise. Media will also be able to ask questions during the webinar.
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Meeting Name: IDPH Preparedness Exercise - Media Briefing
When: 06/09/2016 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
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