Press Releases - 3/29/06
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 03/29/06
DUTCHESS COUNTY HEALTH COMMISSIONER ADVISES U.S. SENATE ON PUBLIC HEALTH PREPAREDNESS
Washington (March 29, 2006)—
Dutchess County (NY) Health Commissioner Michael C. Caldwell, MD, MPH, appeared before a Senate Subcommittee Tuesday, March 28, 2006 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC at a roundtable discussion on Public Health Preparedness in the 21st Century. Caldwell, also past president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) joined other national experts in recommending how the nation can improve its preparedness for public health emergencies.
Caldwell drew on his experience in improving Dutchess County's readiness for emergencies ranging from pandemic influenza to the events of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent anthrax attacks. He told the Senate Subcommittee on Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness that the best preparation involves skilled public health workers who plan and exercise their plans for emergency response jointly with local elected officials, police and fire departments, emergency managers, hospitals, physicians, schools, businesses, and other community partners.
"Protecting and defending our citizens' health is of paramount importance for our society to function in a time of crisis. The time to prepare and strengthen our public health infrastructure is now at hand," said Caldwell.
Caldwell appeared at the invitation of Subcommittee Chair Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). His written statement to the Subcommittee is available here.
NACCHO is the national organization representing the nation's nearly 3,000 local health departments. These agencies work every day on the front lines to protect and promote the health of their communities. NACCHO develops resources and programs and promotes national policies that support effective local public health practice.