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FOR RELEASE: May 18, 2006
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

State and Federal Leaders Convene Pandemic Influenza Summit
Meeting draws more than 400 Leaders to Oklahoma City

The Governor’s Pandemic Influenza Summit will bring together more than 400 civic, business, and education leaders from throughout the state today.

State and federal leaders will discuss preparedness issues relating to a possible pandemic influenza outbreak. The meeting is intended to increase overall readiness in Oklahoma for a catastrophic health emergency as well as to serve as a model for smaller regional summits taking place later in the year.

“While pandemics are global, the impact is local,” said Dr. Mike Crutcher, Oklahoma Commissioner of Health. “Having Governor Henry open this conference along with United States Deputy Surgeon General Ken Moritsugu illustrates the importance of this issue. The momentum from today’s summit will hopefully spread and increase awareness throughout our state.”

Other speakers include Terry Cline, Ph.D., Oklahoma Secretary of Health, federal officials from the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of Homeland Security; State officials from the Oklahoma State Department of Health; Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry; Oklahoma Department of Education; and State Chamber of Commerce.

Secretary Cline signed an agreement with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in March to assist in coordinating efforts between the federal government and Oklahoma.

During the summit, the Oklahoma State Department of Health will also release a revised Pandemic Influenza Management Plan incorporating changes made in response to the release of the federal plan. The revised plan adds three new sections on control of the disease at the community, hospital, and individual level.

The Governor’s Pandemic Influenza Summit will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Express Event Center, 8512 NW Expressway in Oklahoma City.

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