Following the events of 9/11 and the subsequent anthrax scares, the federal government realized that our public health infrastructure was lacking in many areas. Since the fall of 2002 local health departments have been receiving federal grant money to build public health preparedness and epidemiology capacity. The LCDHD has utilized that funding to the fullest benefit for our health department and communities.
As a program, we have been working to develop and implement all hazards preparedness plans for our district health department. We have plans in place to deal with Smallpox, Anthrax, Pandemic Influenza, a Wolf Creek Dam Breech, and to Receive, Stage, and Store the Strategic National Stockpile from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We have participated in numerous exercises and drills and were recognized in 2004 by the CDC as the model for a Medium-flow Point of Dispensing Clinic. We have tested our Point of Dispensing Clinic operations many times by having mass flu shot clinics in all 10 of our counties, as well as a drive-thru flu shot clinic in 2007. In addition to planning, we are actively training our health department staff, community, and first responders on numerous topics related to disaster preparedness and the health department response. Our health department preparedness program is responsible for recruitment and coordination of the Lake Cumberland Medical Reserve Corps. This cadre of volunteers will be a tremendous asset to our communities in the event of a disaster, as they will serve to augment the public health and medical staff who are responding.