Feb 13, 2007 Meeting Summary
Members Present: K. Doolittle, L. McKee,
J. Palmer, A. Throneberry, B. Diven, MD, R. Torrez, MD, D. Smith, J. Balog, J.
Gamon, M. Benanti, G. DeNecochea, A. Diaz, M. Abernethy, J. Witte, A. Arvizo
Members Absent: L. DeRoos, S. Lopez, T.
Burgin, K. Hill, M. Jaspers, L. Olsen, D. Pearse, N. Quezada-Aragon,
The meeting began at 3:20PM.
1) The Communicable Disease Response plan
and other valuable links are now posted on the EH&S Emergency Management web
under the Communicable Disease /Pan Flu Guidance tab at
2) K. Doolittle informed the committee that
OSHA has issued guidance on "Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Epidemic"
http://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3327pandemic.pdf . Key points in the
document are definitions for seasonal flu, pandemic flu and avian influenza,
classifying employee exposures to pandemic influenza on the job, and a
classification for occupational exposures from "very high to lower".
3) L. McKee informed committee of availability of new guidance for community
preparedness from PANDEMICFLU.GOV at
http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/community/mitigation.html. This document
assigns a category to the cascade of pandemic events, similar to the NOAA hurricane warning system, ie category 1 (least severe) to category 5 (most
severe). Members are encouraged to read these documents - they offer insight
useful to our planning efforts.
4) L. McKee provided news of legislative
action on House Bill 605 to Protect Emergency Health Care Volunteers responding
to public health emergencies. Volunteer health professionals would be
covered with workerís compensation benefits when deployed by the Dept
of Health. NM law does not currently provide an effective mechanism for making
sure injury and death benefits would be available to unpaid deployed health
5) L. McKee highlighted the Mobile Care
Unit concept and needs for funding on the order of $115,000, noting
that she would seek funding through Health and Human Services but that NMSU
might also need to support such equipment needs.
6) K. Doolittle reported that the plan
which you all have worked so hard to develop was presented to NMSU
Administrative Council meeting today, Feb 13. Council questioned how this
information would be distributed to inform all departments. It was requested that the information to Academic Departments flow through the Deanís.
K. Doolittle & L. McKee will meet with the Provost to present the CD Response
Plan and draft a memo for the Provost to review and distribute to Academic Deans
regarding planning efforts.
K. Doolittle presented a Continuity of Operation Plan (COOP) template and will
distribute the document for departmental use once it is formatted for NMSU.
J. Witte stated that an avian influenza has not been isolated in domestic or
migratory birds in our region. A NM Avian Influenza web site will
debut in March and the new link will be added to the NMSU Emergency Management
D. Smith noted that a recent ProMED release traced most of the scattered bird
flu outbreaks so far this year (2007) to illegal or improper trade in
poultry. This likely includes the very recent outbreak on a turkey farm in
England. Whereas, last winter migrating birds were deemed the primary culprit
in the bird flu infestations, per ProMed. No outbreaks have been attributed to
wild birds so far this season.
11) M. Benanti was recognized and thanked
for the upcoming Page One article about the NMSU task force planning efforts and for opening the door for upcoming interviews with local media to bring this
information to the larger community.
12) D. Shearer was recognized for
developing the Communicable Disease section of the Emergency Management web
The meeting adjourned at 3:45PM Next meeting is in March.
More Safety News