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Story from the Field

Name of Health Department/Agency: Cuyahoga County Board of Health
State: OH
Date Added: 12/28/2009
Issue Summary: Mass Vaccination Planning and Community Coordination
Description of Issue(s): Since 2002, LHD's throughout the United States have been working with their local communities to build the capacity to dispense vaccines and anitbiotics rapidly, through the Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI). Although there have been many tabletop and functional exercises to test this planning process, the H1N1 vaccination campaign was the first test of this planning investment.
Actions taken to address the issue(s): Upon receiving notification that LHD's woule plan an integral role in delivering vaccine to their communites very quickly, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, like many other local health departments around the country, activated their CRI plan.
Outcomes that resulted from actions taken: The H1N1 vaccination campaign is living proof that the national investment in CRI that was coordinated by CDC and implemented at the local level works very effectively. Our planning efforts in recruiting community volunteers, engaging the medical community and local first responders and disseminating public information have been very successful because of this investment. Our ability to deliver vaccines to large numbners of people very rapidly has been clearly demonstrated. Public health was described by a former Ohio state health officer as "the greatest story never told". The positive press coverage; the community appreciation displayed by the public's letters, editorials, emails and phone calls; the solidification of a strong community volunteer base; and tremendous good will generated among all of the partners through this extraordinary community effort will pay dividends as we address other public health priorities in Greater Cleveland and around the country.

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