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Director's Update
Mike Harryman

By Mike Harryman, Director of Emergency Operations 

The Oregon Public Health Division unveiled its strategic plan earlier this fall. The plan outlines a concrete vision to improve the health of Oregonians over the next three to five years. Two of the strategic priority areas directly affect public health preparedness: community resilience to emergencies and excellence in epidemiology and surveillance. Our own Jen Masotja and Collette Young serve as “champions” for these areas. As champions, Jen and Collette will lead coordination efforts across the Public Health Division.

As you read “Ready to Respond” you will learn about new and innovative ways the public health system is working with partners across counties, regions and the state to develop a robust system to respond to public health emergencies. Multnomah County and Jackson County have been working to increase vaccination rates for influenza and measles. The Public Health Division, OHSU and OEM participated in a four day training and exercise class to improve communication and coordination in the event of a major public health emergency. This exercise marked the first time FEMA adapted a training for a public health agency. 

I’d also like to recognize the hard work of Gary Oxman, Sonya Andron, Maureen Cassidy and Colette Whelan. Dr. Oxman has worked for more than 20 years to improve the health of Oregonians. We wish him well in his retirement. The Immunization Program would like to recognize the work of Sonya and Maureen for building and strengthening Oregon’s capacity to effectively respond to emergencies. Finally, on behalf of my program and the health departments in Central Oregon, I’d like to thank Colette Whelan for her service, dedication to public health and ability to get the job done — no matter what. We wish her well in her next endeavor. 

One final note: As the winter season begins, I want to encourage each of you to prepare for potentially hazardous weather conditions. ODOT and the Oregon State Police provided us with safety tips everyone can take to get ready for the winter storms.

Back to issue index

Go to the SERV-OR Winter 2012 Newsletter 

Go to The Pulse Winter 2012 Newsletter