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HHS offers tools to promote local pandemic preparedness

first_img Jun 14 CIDRAP News story “HHS hears community leaders’ ideas on pandemic readiness” He said the gap between what public health experts know and what the public knows about pandemic planning is still very large, and more work is needed, particularly on community mitigation efforts that may be needed in a severe pandemic, such as school closures and student dismissals. See also: One component that seems to be missing from the HHS toolkit is a plan for distributing it to community leaders who are well positioned to use the materials, Dworkin said. “As of right now, they are available online, but who knows about them? How will community leaders, school boards, and others learn about their existence?” he asked. Greg Dworkin, MD, founding editor of the Flu Wiki Web site and chief of pediatric pulmonology at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Conn., told CIDRAP News the materials have been well received. “Interestingly, long-time flu preppers have already used them to discuss the idea with relatives and others who respond to the HHS stamp of legitimacy,” he said. Stephanie Marshall, HHS director of pandemic communications, told CIDRAP News via e-mail that the agency launched a “trade advertising campaign” for the toolkit on Dec 1, the same day the materials were posted on the government’s pandemic planning Web site. She said the ads appear on the toolkit Web site. “Government alone can’t prepare the nation for pandemic flu; this challenge requires your help,” HHS says in its online introduction to the toolkit. “As a leader in your community, you can playa powerful role in encouraging your employees, patients, and members and others whom you represent to prepare by providing information and guidance and by preparing yourself.” The toolkit is an outgrowth of earlier HHS efforts to engage community leaders’ help in preparing the nation for an influenza pandemic. In May the agency hosted a 5-week blog series that was designed to engage community leaders in online discussions about personal preparedness. In June, HHS held a leadership forum in Washington, DC, that drew about 100 leaders from various sectors.center_img Dworkin was one of 13 experts who led the HHS blog discussions and also took part in the agency’s leadership summit. HHS has identified nine communities that it will target with more intensive communication efforts regarding pandemic planning, Marshall said, adding that the agency hopes to introduce that campaign early next year. Titled “Take the Lead: Working Together to Prepare Now,” the 21-item toolkit is aimed at groups such as churches and business, healthcare, and civic organizations. The package of materials, posted on the HHS’ pandemic planning Web site Dec 1, includes several components that groups can adapt to meet their needs, including talking points, checklists, fact sheets, sample e-mails, and sample newsletter articles. The toolkit includes a template that groups can use to publicize campaigns to stockpile food as a community pandemic preparation activity. The package also includes ideas about incentives leaders can use to motivate community members to attend pandemic planning information meetings and related activities. Toolkit materials reflect the input from community leaders, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS said on the Web site. Dec 4, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a toolkit to help community leaders educate their constituents about steps they can take to prepare for an influenza pandemic.last_img read more

FIFA panel upholds one-year ban on ex-German FA head Niersbach

first_img(REUTERS) – FIFA officials have rejected an appeal by former German Football Association (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach, thereby maintaining a one-year ban on him imposed in July.The German has responded by stepping down from all his football roles. He also said he would not take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, putting an end to his career as an administrator.Niersbach was suspended by world soccer’s ruling body for failing to report potential misconduct surrounding the award of 2006 World Cup hosting rights to Germany.“The Appeals Committee determined that a one-year ban from taking part in any football-related activity at national and international level was adequate in this case,” the FIFA committee said in a statement yesterday.“In consequence Mr Niersbach’s ban for a period of one year is maintained as from July 25, 2016.”The Appeals Committee said he had violated articles related to disclosure, cooperation and conflict of interest.Niersbach, who sat on the FIFA Council and is also a member of the executive committee of European soccer’s governing body UEFA, though currently suspended, resigned as DFB president in November 2015.“His personal decision … to accept the consequences of misconduct in the past deserves recognition and respect,” the DFB said.Current president Reinhard Grindel will now campaign for a position on UEFA’s executive committee, the DFB added.Niersbach was unable to explain a 6.7 million euros ($7.4 million) payment from German World Cup organisers to FIFA.A report in May from the investigatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee, an independent body, found Niersbach had violated its ethics code.The German repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and lodged an appeal. He is also under investigation by Frankfurt prosecutors for suspected tax evasion over that specific payment to FIFA.A DFB-commissioned report revealed in March that while there was no evidence of Germany paying FIFA members in return for their votes, payments were made to at least one former FIFA official through a web of accounts involving several other firms or individuals, including Franz Beckenbauer.World Cup-winning player and coach Beckenbauer, who headed the 2006 hosting bid, admitted making mistakes but denied any wrongdoing over the tournament in Germany.last_img read more

Ernst and Grassley call for more support of hog producers

first_imgWASHINGTON — Iowa’s two U.S. senators want more money pumped into programs to compensate hog producers who are forced to euthanize herds due to the pandemic.With some meatpacking plants closed, processing capacity is down by 20- to 40%, or more. Senator Chuck Grassley says the pork industry has lost more than $5 billion already, though he’s not calling for a specific amount to be included in the legislation.“Usually the bill says ‘such sums as may be necessary’ and the appropriators would make that final decision,” Grassley says. “The fact that I haven’t mentioned a specific dollar figure is only because it’s kind of an unknown at this point.” Grassley notes that the CARES Act provided more than $24 billion for grain farmers, specialty crops and livestock producers who were suffering losses.“This money that is already available, six weeks ago, was anticipating just low prices because of the pandemic,” Grassley says. “Nobody talked about depopulating herds at that time.” In a letter to Congressional leaders signed by Grassley and several other senators, they say: “The crisis is immediate. Pork producers send to market over two million pigs each week. If 20% of processing is idle, that means somewhere around 400,000 animals per week must be disposed of in some manner other than processing.”Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says farming communities are in an economic crisis, especially hog farmers who are faced with the prospect of euthanizing their animals.“It’s very hurtful, I think for all of us, especially for those of us in leadership that are really crying to be heard broadly across the United States with our colleagues as to what our American farmer and rancher is going through,” Ernst says. Ernst made her comments last Friday during a forum with Vice President Mike Pence in West Des Moines.Jen Sorenson, president-elect of the National Pork Producers, says of euthanizing hogs: “That goes against every farming instinct. We need significant help to support U.S. pork producers that generate more than 500,000 jobs and $23 billion in personal income across America.”last_img read more