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Planning Resolution between Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt and Governor Thomas J. Vilsack of Iowa
- Influenza pandemics have occurred three times in the last century, and history and science suggest that the country and the world could face one or more pandemics in this century;
- Pandemic influenza can be borne of numerous causes including diseases in domestic animals and wildlife;
- A pandemic can cause severe illness, death and disruption throughout the country and the world, and outbreaks can occur in many different locations all at the same time;
- Preparing for an influenza pandemic requires coordinated action at all levels of government – federal, state, local, tribal – and all sectors of society, including businesses, schools, faith-based and community organizations, families, individuals and others;
- The federal government has committed to taking a leadership role in creating a prepared Nation by monitoring international and domestic outbreaks, providing funding and technical assistance to foster local and state preparedness, encourage the coordination of all the federal agencies with a responsibility for human and animal health, stockpiling and distributing countermeasures, developing new treatments, and coordinating the national response;
- The Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has committed to holding pandemic planning summits in all 50 states, assisting states to improve their level of preparedness;
- President George W. Bush requested and the Congress appropriated over $3 billion in emergency spending in the Defense Appropriations Act for 2006, including funding for state and local pandemic planning purposes;
- States provide leadership to local communities, function under state authority, and work in conjunction with federal partners and local communities under their own authorities, within their jurisdictions, to develop pandemic preparedness plans to address pandemic influenza;
- Consistent with its authorities and availability of funding, HHS may provide additional resources for state and local influenza planning and preparedness activities, taking into consideration input from state and local partners and require specific preparedness goals from states and localities as a condition of financial assistance;
- Preparedness plans must be regularly exercised and updated to achieve a stronger level of preparedness;
- Pandemic preparedness will help communities deal with all-hazard emergency planning and will have lasting benefits for the health of our Nation; and
- HHS and Iowa share common goals, and have shared and independent responsibilities for influenza planning and preparedness.
Be it resolved:
- HHS will be responsible for:
- continuing to provide substantial guidance and technical assistance to Iowa as it prepares to respond to a possible influenza pandemic. Among other things, HHS coordinates pandemic response activities with state, local and tribal public health agencies; coordinates planning and response activities with other relevant federal agencies; supports state pandemic planning efforts; communicates and disseminates timely influenza pandemic information and technical guidance to state and local public health departments; and provides direct support and technical guidance for epidemiological investigations and diagnostic services.
- consistent with its statutory authorities, direction from Congress, and Departmental regulations and policy, and subject to available funding, providing States an initial amount of financial assistance for the purposes of pandemic planning. Terms and conditions of such assistance will state that additional amounts will depend upon achievement of specific preparedness goals as agreed to by HHS and Iowa, including a self-assessment of readiness on the part of Iowa.
- within six months, reviewing Iowa’s plans for use, storage and distribution of antivirals and notify Iowa of its portion of the federal stockpile of pandemic influenza antiviral drugs.
- Iowa will be responsible for:
- consistent with its statutory authorities assuring that the plan for pandemic influenza response is a component of the overall state and local emergency response plan. The State plan should coordinate effectively with Emergency Support Function 8, Health and Medical Services, of the National Response Plan and the National Incident Management System.
- consistent with its statutory authorities establishing a state Pandemic Preparedness Coordinating Committee that represents relevant stakeholders in the jurisdiction that may include governmental, public health, healthcare, emergency response, law enforcement, agriculture, education, business, communication, community-based, and faith-based sectors, as well as private citizens and should develop and recommend strategic planning and response priorities for the state. It is recommended that each local jurisdiction establish a Preparedness Coordinating Committee.
- notifying HHS of the amount of additional pandemic influenza antiviral drugs that Iowa will plan to purchase in coordination with HHS, subject to the availability of funding.
- exercising the state’s preparedness plan and participating in a nationwide pandemic planning exercise subject to staff availability and scheduling and availability of funding.
/s/ Thomas J. Vilsack
State of Iowa
/s/ Mike Leavitt
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services