Governor Deval Patrick and health and human services officials in Massachusetts praised President Obama for the declaration of national emergency related to the H1N1 influenza outbreak. "The President's actions allow us to continue on the path we have been on in response to H1N1; namely working in partnership with health care providers and public health officials to prepare for an increase in the number of residents with the flu". The declaration would permit the federal government to waive specific hospital-related legal requirements. This would allow hospitals to take certain actions to respond to increased demands for care and to fully implement their disaster operations plans that enable appropriate care during emergencies. The Governor joined the President in downplaying the significance of such a declaration. "This does not mean that conditions have dramatically changed or that the public should be alarmed".
Secretary of Health and Human Services JudyAnn Bigby, MD, emphasized that the plans to prepare and respond to the H1N1 flu have been in place for months as state health officials have collaborated with a wide spectrum of organizations – from hospitals and medical practices to local health officials to school superintendents and nurses. "Each of these sectors is actively working to reduce risk of infection and serious illness".
The Patrick Administration has conferred with the Massachusetts Hospital Association regarding the President’s declaration and joint efforts are being made to inform hospitals of its content. The declaration does not increase the pace at which the H1N1 vaccine will become available to the public. Production delays have decreased the shipments of vaccine to Massachusetts and all other states. So far in Massachusetts, 300,000 doses of the vaccine have been distributed to clinical sites. Hundreds of thousands more are expected in the coming weeks. Public health officials reaffirmed that residents of the state can play an active role in decreasing the spread of the flu by staying home when sick and by carefully practicing health hygiene.
A Taste of India for Special Occasions! posted on Mar 27
At WIC, we are very fortunate to have so many staff members from different countries and cultures. In this week’s blog, Kinnari Chitalia, RD, LDN, CLC, Nutritionist at the Dorchester North WIC Program, shares a favorite recipe that can be made at any time, but …Continue Reading A Taste of India for Special Occasions!
Working to Eliminate Health Disparities Among LGBT People posted on Mar 27
This week marks the commemoration of National LGBT Health Awareness Week. At DPH this is not only an occasion to celebrate the strides that we as a Commonwealth have made in reducing disparities in health care and health outcomes among people who identify as lesbian, …Continue Reading Working to Eliminate Health Disparities Among LGBT People
Weekly Flu Report, March 27, 2015 posted on Mar 27
The latest weekly flu report shows a slight decrease in rates of flu-like illness in the Commonwealth over the past seven days, which is consistent with what we would expect to see at this point of flu season. Flu does however continue to be present …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, March 27, 2015