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Higher Education in Maryland

September 2009 Press Release

 

 

For immediate release: September 16, 2009                            Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen
                                                                                                             Communications: (410) 260-4511

                                                                                                             cfalkenh@mhec.state.md.us

 

Secretary Lyons Moderates National H1N1 Swine Flu Webcast


Annapolis, MD (September 16, 2009) - Secretary of Higher Education James E. Lyons, Sr., yesterday served as moderator of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)’s H1N1 Swine Flu Webcast on planning for pandemics and featuring experts from Carnegie Mellon University. NACUBO partnered with the American College and Health Association (ACHA) and the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources to produce the Webcast.


NACUBO is a membership organization representing more than 2,500 colleges, universities, and higher education service providers across the country and around the world. Overall, 334 higher education institutions participated in the Webcast as did 1,600 NACUBO, ACHA and (CUPA-HRA) members participated. Members who may have missed the Webcast will will be able to access it for a year.


“I was pleased to be asked by such a prestigious organization such as NACUBO to moderate this Webcast and, also showcase the outstanding leadership the O’Malley-Brown administration is providing in Maryland when it comes to preparing for the H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic to college and university campuses nationwide and around the world,” Secretary Lyons said.


The Webcast was available to all NACUBO members and partnering organizations and there was strong participation from higher education institutions from all over the country. Call invitees participated in a poll which asked questions about how various higher education institutions are handling the pandemic and then had time to ask questions or provide input.

The steps Governor O’Malley has taken to address the H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic that were presented by Secretary Lyons during the Webcast included:

  • Ensuring that the State’s Pandemic Flu, Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and Mass Vaccination plans are complete and comprehensive, are scalable, can be implemented, and have been promulgated;

  • Working with Governor O’Malley’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Homeland Security to convene a meeting of local stakeholders regarding the H1N1 (Swine Flu);

  • Determining whether statewide human resources and personnel policies for public health emergencies are needed, and as appropriate, develop and implement them;

  • To the extent practicable, pre-identifing trigger points and guidance for State agencies to activate their pandemic influenza Continuity of Operation Plan (COOP);

  • Ensuring that optimal procedures, combinations and sequences have been pre-identified for declaring a Stafford act emergency, public health emergency and authorizing emergency powers in conjunction with HIN1 Swine Flu;

  • Developing a streamlined system to ensure comprehensive and consistent internal communications across State agencies and externally with local partners which can be applied to all hazards situations and

  • Conducting an exercise of the State’s plan for mass distribution of H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine, as well as any other aspects of the State’s pandemic influenza plan deemed in need of exercise by the Task Force.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is a 12-member coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide policies for Maryland public and independent colleges and universities and private career schools. It serves as an advocate for more than 337,000 college students in Maryland, for the State and its needs, and for business and industry in Maryland.

 


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