National summit to address business readiness for flu pandemic

first_imgFeb 1, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A national conference scheduled Feb 14 and 15 in Minneapolis will give business leaders an opportunity to learn from experts about the risk of pandemic influenza and help figure out how their industries can prepare for it. The long list of speakers for the conference includes Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael Leavitt; former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson; CIDRAP Director Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH; and writer and scholar John Barry, author of The Great Influenza, a lengthy account of the 1918 flu pandemic. Ted Koppel, former host of the ABC News show “Nightline,” will speak at a Feb 14 evening banquet. Planners describe the summit as the first of its type on a national scale. “I think it’s the first conference of its kind to bring together all the various industry sectors to actually work towards determining and addressing current gaps in planning” for the business community, said Osterholm. He added that some “solutions have been identified in one or more business sectors but not generally made available to other sectors.” Olson said he expects the meeting will attract mostly larger companies, giving them a chance to compare notes on their preparedness measures. “We’re hoping to share some of that information with small and medium-sized companies at a later date,” he said. “We can no longer assume that business continuity plans for both our multinational companies and small businesses, largely based on a concept of a regional event of a limited duration, will approximate the actual impact and consequence of an influenza pandemic,” Osterholm said in congressional testimony in December. “Rather, I believe an influenza pandemic will be like a 12- to 18-month global blizzard that will ultimately change the world as we know it today.” Beauchesne commented in a University of Minnesota news release, “Pandemic influenza needs to be on the minds of all organizations. It is not an ‘if’ but ‘when’ scenario. This is a critical event that should be a priority for all our members.” Besides those mentioned above, some of the other speakers and panelists are Ann Beauchesne, executive director of homeland security for the US Chamber of Commerce; former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson; Sherry Cooper, global economic strategist with Harris Bank and BMO Financial Group in Toronto; Richard Knox, science correspondent with National Public Radio; Jeffrey Levi, senior policy adviser at Trust for America’s Health; and Stewart Simonson, assistant director for public health emergency preparedness in the US Department of Health and Human Services.center_img David Olson, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, said the conference will give businesses a chance to prepare for disasters in general. “We obviously hope that a pandemic flu situation never arises, but we think this is a great opportunity for businesses to plan for any kind of disaster, whether it be flood, fire, or tornado,” he told CIDRAP News. “If they’re going to be prepared for flu, my guess is everything else is going to be less [difficult] than that.” The premise of the conference is that pandemic flu is a major global threat and that traditional business security and disaster-response plans will not be adequate for dealing with it, according to CIDRAP officials. The conference will include expert speakers and panel discussions on topics affecting all industries, such as legal issues, healthcare, infrastructure, human resources, government support, and risk communication. After the general presentations, participants will gather with others from their own industry to discuss continuity planning. Sessions are planned for 11 different sectors, such as healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture and food, energy, transportation and warehousing, and construction and real estate. The meeting, called “Business Planning for Pandemic Influenza: A National Summit,” is being organized by the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), publisher of this Web site. The United States and Minnesota Chambers of Commerce are cosponsoring the event, to be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Osterholm said he hopes the meeting will be the beginning of an ongoing effort to help the private sector prepare for pandemic flu. “No one knows if the current situation [with avian flu] will lead to a pandemic, but regardless if it does, there will be another pandemic,” he said “Any preparedness efforts we can make in this global just-in-time economy will be an investment well spent.”last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, June 29

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTrump compares to LBJ, Clintons bestI’ve found several books about Lyndon Johnson’s dark side, including his massive corruption. Without looking very far, I’ve found three books about the Clintons’ corruption. Authors include Joachim Joesten, Roger Stone and Peter Schweizer.Trump comparisons to Obama make some sense, but having read one of those books about Johnson and the Clintons, they’re clearly more similar to Trump than Nixon was. It makes sense to me that Trump should be compared more to LBJ and the Clintons, and less to Richard Nixon.Colin YunickCharltonIsrael is far better than its neighborsRegarding Mr. Van Dijk’s rants in his June 15 letter directed to a position of Bruce Trackenburg’s letter of May 23:Mr. Van Dijk spews forth his version of the situation in the Middle East area. However, his view does come across as being somewhat anti-Semitic. In fact, his writing could be used for a poster for these types of organizations.Is Israel lily white in its dealings with its neighbors? Not by a long shot. However, it’s far better than any of its tyrannical neighbors by having a democratically elected government, duly elected, by its people, since 1948. Also it’s probably more lily white than the United States is and has been in many of its dealings. However, I’d rather have Israel take out Iraq’s nuclear reactor, as it did in 1989, than us sitting by with North Korea and Iran in 2019.Constantly being attacked on all sides, having your neighbors only want to see your death and destruction — if that doesn’t give you some moral leeway in your dealings, then maybe 6-plus-million voices of the past do.Sorry, but the world isn’t perfect. And for these people to survive, anything goes. Never again should anyone attempt to wipe them off the face of the Earth.PS: The last time I read the Bible and attended classes in ancient history, this land was theirs long before any of its neighbors. Bob NicolellaScotiaChristians shouldn’t show self-interest Beware forces seeking U.S.-Europe mergerIt’s time United States citizens were informed of activity of a little-known non-government organization that has been working to advance plans for the merger of the United States and Europe. ‘ The Transatlantic Policy Network (TPN), the organization which anticipates such a merger, is made up of many powerful and well-known corporations, think tanks and legislators on both sides of the Atlantic.I’d think such a movement that would effect all citizens would warrant coverage by mainstream news media. But no. Complete silence.It’s urgent for Congress to reject the US.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The Deep State globalists prefer small incremental advances to their goal, therefore they hide the adverse portions of an agreement under advantages, which nobody can oppose. But once approved, the adverse items hold sway and USMCA would be a step toward this proposed merger.The USMCA contains such adverse conditions causing us to surrender sovereignty to that organization. Chapter 30, entitled “Administrative and Institutional Provisions,” establishes a governing “Free Trade Commission,” a supernational governing body, which would have power to revise the USMCA without congressional approval. Loss of sovereignty is in the heart of the agreement. The Free Trade Commission would oversee a bureaucracy of at least 16 subordinate committees, each related to a particular chapter in the agreement. There’s much that’s covered in the proposed agreement which would effect the sovereignty of the greatest nation on Earth. USMCA is one step toward One World Government.Please contact your congressional representative and instruct them to vote against the USMCA.George Van SchaickRotterdamSupport getting rid of Trump, McConnellIn response to Jane Pauze’s June 22 letter (“Enough effort wasted investigating Trump”), as a resident of Niskayuna and Schenectady County, I do support Paul Tonko’s efforts including investigating Donald Trump further with respect to the Mueller report.If you read the Mueller report fully, you will see clear evidence that Mr. Trump did try hard to obstruct justice. Only because he is president has he avoided being indicted so far. Hopefully once his one term is over, he will be pursued for his efforts to obstruct justice. One other note is that the House has been trying to get legislation through which addresses the items Ms. Pauze’s letter recited. But the “grim reaper,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has been blocking all efforts to get meaningful laws passed. Hopefully, this will be his last term, too.Douglas McFaddenNiskayunaBecome citizen before reaping U.S. benefitsI woke up this morning to find that immigrants here illegally can now obtain a driver’s license from the state of New York.This is supposed to keep their families from being torn apart and to allow them to go to and from their jobs that they hold illegally. Allowing them to have driver’s license is also going to prod them to get insurance on the vehicles that they drive on the roads that our tax dollars pay for. Next, their right to vote will be pushed through in the middle of the night. There will be people left in this state to vote for Andrew Cuomo next election.You can sit around, get stoned (It’s only a matter of time.), watch the immigrants drive by and dream up what you can do to make their lives easier. Maybe some health insurance. Why do we not want the immigrants to go through the proper channels to become legal citizens in this country? Does anyone remember Ellis Island? My family has their names in the books from when they arrived in this great country to pursue the opportunities that were being offered. No one gave them anything but a chance. I believe you should have to be a legal citizen in order to enjoy any benefits that may come from being in this country. Otherwise, what is the incentive for them to do so?Kathleen LamphereCanajoharieMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18 To address Audrey Saltsman’s question in her June 12 letter about Schenectady High School changing the date of the prom to accommodate our many students of Muslim faith, I have three thoughts:1. Most school districts have never been and likely never will be in the position to do the same for Christians, as the academic school calendar (aside from and agrarian summers-off schedule) is planned entirely around Christian holidays.2. As Christians, we are taught humility and never to put ourselves before others; especially if they are suffering in any way. If there are others who cease suffering by having a special request met, it isn’t truly Christ-like to adopt a “What about me?” point of view. To do so when it’s always about us is something to step back from and reflect upon and potentially grow from as a Christian.3. The students are to be commended for following the protocol and doing everything they were supposed to do to effect change. The superintendent and district are to be commended for taking responsibility for the ignorance of privilege. For either to be questioned undermines the constitutional rights of the students and people of Muslim faith. Implicit bias often goes completely unseen to oneself, but can appear as racism and prejudice to others. Lisa RussoSchenectadyTaxpayers not hurt by horsemen cutbackCasinos should not be immune from criticism. But the criticism should at least be accurate.Today’s editorial gives the impression that Rivers is seeking a tax break and to pay less money to the state. That’s just not true.The horseman do not lose $1 under the bill I introduced. Instead of the casino making 100 percent of the contribution to the horseman and breeder’s funds, the racino would make 50 percent and the casino would make 50 percent. Prior to the advent of the casino, the racino paid 100 percent. It’s not the job of the casino to subsidize the racino, as is currently the case.The marketing credit sought by Rivers would not decrease the amount Rivers pays to the state. The credit only applies after Rivers makes the same contribution to the state as it makes now.Your readers can judge whether either proposal is unreasonable.Phil SteckLoudonvilleThe writer represents the 110th Assembly District in the state Legislature.eWIC program makes going shopping easierThere is an exciting new development in the New York State Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program called eWIC. With eWIC, benefits are now provided electronically, making shopping with WIC easier and more convenient.Anyone who has shopped with WIC paper checks will appreciate the convenience of eWIC. WIC benefits are loaded onto the eWIC card at the WIC clinic appointment. The eWIC card is used just like a debit card at the grocery store, letting participants buy food when it works best for them rather than all at once.Another benefit of eWIC is a new app called WIC2Go that lets participants check their WIC benefit balance right from their phone. This app also allows participants to scan foods to see if they are WIC-approved, look up WIC-approved stores and local WIC clinics and see their next WIC appointment.WIC may be able to help those who are pregnant, a new mom or have children under age 5, or are fathers, grandparents or caregivers of children under age 5. WIC provides nutritious food, breastfeeding support, nutrition education and referrals to other services.To learn more about WIC eligibility, contact the local WIC Help Specialist. WIC Help Specialists provide one-on-one services to help connect eligible pregnant women and families with young children to WIC. These services are free and confidential.Vanessa GeeAlbanyThe writer is a WIC help specialist, Catholic Charities Tri-County Services serving Albany and Schenectady Counties.Get politics out of Nisky school boardThe Niskayuna school board has failed the taxpayers. A disgraceful campaign was conducted slandering a board candidate. They extended the superintendent’s contract for 5 years despite staff outcry of low morale in the district. He does not need to even rent a place in the town but  travels to Herkimer daily.He’s not contributing one penny to the district’s tax base.In addition, they and the superintendent are proposing a $50 million to $80 million bond for building renovations etc. The taxpayers have to pay for this enormous bond, since previous boards and administrations didn’t make building upkeep their priority. In essence, we are paying for neglect.School boards are supposed to be non-political, but this isn’t the case. Why would a school board election take on the appearance of a political campaign when members don’t receive compensation? The simple answer is board members are using it as a stepping stone for political office. A school board member is running for the town board in November. School boards are supposed to be a selfless act of service. There should be a policy that school board members wait a year after they leave office before running for a paid political office. Political aspirations carry with them political decisions that are often self-serving. This is horrendous for the town, students, staff and taxpayers.Taxpayers and staff need to take back their district. One way to accomplish this is to speak out and vote.Linda RizzoNiskayunalast_img read more

Howie Kendrick, Yasmani Grandal ready to return to Dodgers’ lineup

first_img“Both guys are texting me saying they’re anxious to get back, excited to see what we’re doing over here,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It’ll certainly be a boost.”There are two difficult but enviable decisions facing the Dodgers’ brass: who Grandal and Kendrick should replace on the active roster, and how to work them back into the lineup.The first decision is more straightforward, at least on paper. Second baseman Micah Johnson was recalled from Oklahoma City on Saturday and seems like a logical choice to head back to Triple-A since he and Kendrick share a primary position. Catcher Austin Barnes is batting .143 to begin the season and can easily swap roster spots with Grandal.Sunday afternoon, Roberts said those decision wouldn’t be made for another 24 hours.“We have to figure out what makes sense for this next series and the next series after that,” he said. “In the short-term, long-term type thing, weigh all these different options what’s best for our club.” SAN FRANCISCO >> Help is on the way.After losing three of four games to the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers will welcome second baseman Howie Kendrick and catcher Yasmani Grandal back to their active roster following their minor league rehabilitation assignments.Kendrick, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left calf muscle, hit two doubles and played nine innings at second base Sunday for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. Grandal, on the 15-day DL with a strained right forearm, caught six innings of Triple-A Oklahoma City’s game in Nashville. He went 0 for 2 Sunday, and 3 for 9 with two walks in the series. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img The Dodgers host the Arizona Diamondbacks at 1 p.m. Tuesday, the first of three games in the series. The Giants visit for a three-game series beginning Saturday, after which the Dodgers will fly to Atlanta.Grandal is expected to be the starting catcher once he returns. Kendrick is expected to start too, though veteran second baseman Chase Utley went on a surprise tear (a .394 OBP, with two doubles and a triple) to begin the season.The Diamondbacks will throw two left-handers (Patrick Corbin on Tuesday and Robbie Ray on Thursday) and one right-hander (Rubby De La Rosa) in the series, so the left-handed hitting Utley and the right-handed Kendrick might wind up trading off.Minor tradeThe Dodgers bolstered their minor league depth Sunday by acquiring outfielder James Ramsey and infielder/outfielder Zach Walters from the Cleveland Indians for cash. Ramsey and Walters were assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, though neither player was in the lineup Sunday in Nashville. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers moved pitcher Josh Ravin and outfielder Andre Ethier to the 60-day disabled list.AlsoScott Van Slyke didn’t play one day after he was removed from a game with lower back pain. Roberts said that the 29-year-old outfielder is day-to-day. … A ceremony to re-name Vin Scully Avenue will be held at 11:15 a.m. Monday at the main stadium entrance. Scully, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo and Dodgers president Stan Kasten are scheduled to attend.last_img read more

Senators propose changes in management of Iowa Medicaid

first_imgTwo key Democrats in the Iowa Senate are proposing adjustments to how private companies manage Iowa’s Medicaid program. Senator Amanda Ragan of Mason City says firing the private companies is not an option since Republicans remain in control of the legislature and the governor’s office.“Governor Reynolds and the Republican legislature is probably not going to change from having privatized Medicaid,” Ragan says, “but we still believe there are fundamentally different things we can do to make this system better.” Democrats in the legislature and the Democratic candidate for governor campaigned last year on returning Medicaid to direct state oversight. Ragan, who manages a soup kitchen in Mason City, is co-sponsoring a bill calling for an independent third-party to handle appeals when the private companies deny care or services to Medicaid patients.“We certainly are not going to discontinue advocating for the things we believe in,” Ragan says. “We’re going to stand up for the importance of giving care to the individuals needing the services. We also are concerned about the providers.” Senator Liz Mathis of Hiawatha is co-sponsoring the bill with Ragan. In addition to changes in how Medicaid is delivered through the private companies, it calls on the firms to find ways to expand the number of health care workers in Iowa.“It doesn’t mean by taking someone else’s employees, that’s helping the workforce,” Mathis says. “It means training people. It means recruiting people into health care occupations and specifically the more difficult occupations that help Medicaid patients.” Mathis works for a Cedar Rapids-based non-profit that provides counseling and other services to children and families.last_img read more