Health and Family Services Cabinet
Workshop to Address Communicating with Vulnerable Populations During Emergencies
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 7, 2009) – The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) will host a workshop on Sept. 11 to address communicating with vulnerable populations during public health emergencies or other disasters.
“When disasters occur, one of our top priorities is getting accurate and timely information to the public,” said William D. Hacker, M.D., commissioner of DPH. “Unfortunately, traditional methods of communicating health and emergency information often fall short in reaching all members of a community. That is why we continue to have a strong focus on work involving our grassroots communications network, the Kentucky Outreach and Information Network.” The Kentucky Outreach and Information Network (KOIN) has been one of DPH’s key partners for getting out information to vulnerable populations and providing feedback on the response during events such as food recalls, the 2009 winter ice storm and the current novel H1N1 influenza (swine flu) outbreak.
This year’s workshop, which will be from 10 a.m-3:30 p.m., will be presented in an interactive television (ITV) format and will feature discussion sessions on a number of emergency topics, including the latest swine flu developments. The meeting will be led from Frankfort and broadcast to ITV sites at local health departments across the state. This format will allow local health department officials to get acquainted with their regional KOIN members to better prepare for emergencies.
Participating ITV sites include: Barren River District Health Department, Gateway District Health Department, Green River District Health Department, Kentucky River District Health Department, Lake Cumberland District Health Department, Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness, Mercer County Health Department, Montgomery County Health Department and Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department.
The goal of the KOIN, established in 2004, is to ensure that in the event of a public health emergency, communication channels are in place through a network of people who can contact some of Kentucky’s most difficult-to-reach populations. Those populations include the deaf and hard of hearing, blind and visually-impaired, limited English proficiency speakers, individuals with low literacy levels, the elderly, disabled and residents of remote rural areas.
For more information, contact Barbara Fox at (502) 564-6786, ext. 4411, or by e-mail at BarbaraJ.Fox@ky.gov. More information about the KOIN is available online at www.chfs.ky.gov/KOIN.htm.