National Governors Association Selects Hawai‘i for Public Health Workshop
The Hawai‘i Department of Health announced that Hawai‘i is one of just six states selected to participate in the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices’ (NGA Center) Public Health Preparedness and Response Workshop for State and Territorial Gubernatorial and Legislative Leadership.
Scheduled to take place in early May 2018 at a location to be determined, the national workshop will focus on developing strategic action plans for states to implement during public health emergencies. Other states selected to participate include Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon and West Virginia.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for Hawai‘i to receive NGA’s technical expertise to help address existing challenges for complex and critical issues around public health emergency response,” said Gov. David Ige. “Hawai‘i is ready and eager to join in the work and contribute to the exchange of ideas, experiences, challenges and best practices with our sister states.”
In recent years, Hawai‘i has experienced a number of serious public health incidents involving multiple county, state, federal and private sector agencies. Besides preparing for the global threats of Ebola and Zika, Hawai‘i has experienced local outbreaks of dengue fever and hepatitis A, and its most recent ongoing mumps outbreak. These examples highlight the importance and timeliness of strategic planning for public health emergency response operations, policies and procedures.
Led by Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler, the core team from Hawai‘i will consist of key leaders across public health, security and emergency management sectors, along with legislative leadership. The team will convene and participate in developing a Hawai‘i-specific strategic action plan to cater to the state’s distinct needs during a public health crisis. During the workshop, the state’s team will also have access to national experts through virtual meetings and regular conference calls with NGA staff and partner organizations.
“The selection of Hawai‘i is not surprising given our unique challenges as the most geographically- isolated populated landmass on earth, as well as our role as a busy crossroad for global travel,” said Dr. Pressler. “Working with the NGA and other states will provide valuable insight into resolving gaps in legal, administrative and jurisdictional issues that our state has wrestled with for some time.”