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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Workshops to Address Communicating with Vulnerable Populations during Emergencies

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, September 03, 2008  
Contact Information:  Media Contact: Gwenda Bond or Barbara Fox, (502) 564-6786, Ext. 3325 or 4411  


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 3, 2008) – The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) will host four community workshops 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. During this time we need to make sure our most vulnerable citizens are included in our plans, and that is why the Kentucky Outreach and Information Network (KOIN) is such a valuable tool to have in place for the commonwealth.”
       The following KOIN workshops have been scheduled:
       ─ Elizabethtown: Tuesday, Sept. 9, 1-4 p.m., Lincoln Trail District Health Department, 108 New Glendale Road, Room B.
       ─ Bowling Green: Wednesday, Sept. 10, 1-4 p.m., Western Kentucky University, Downing University Center, Room 340, One Big Red Way.
       ─ Lexington: Thursday, Sept. 11, 1-4 p.m., Lexington Public Library, 140 E. Main St., Room A.
       ─ Louisville: Friday, Sept. 12, 1-4 p.m., University of Louisville, Shelby Campus, Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning, Founders Union Building, Room 218 A.
       This year’s workshops will include a new, discussion-based format in which participants will work through an emergency scenario and practice responding to a KOIN alert.
       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.
       Members of the public who would like to attend a workshop, or if sign language interpreter services will be needed, should 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/dph/epi/preparedness/KOIN.htm.

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Last Updated 9/3/2008