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For Release: Dec. 18, 2012 – Leslea Bennett-Webb, Office of Communications – 405/271-5601

Oklahoma State Department of Health Teams with WebMD to Enhance Public Health Alert System

The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced today that it has teamed with Medscape of WebMD, a leading online-source of information for health care professionals, to communicate urgent public health messages to physicians, physician assistants, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, nurses and other health care providers in Oklahoma. This partnership will complement Oklahoma’s existing Health Alert Network (HAN) system.

Currently, the Oklahoma State Department of Health delivers vital health information through health alerts, advisories and updates to local health departments, hospitals, health care providers and other public health partners as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national HAN system.

“The alliance with WebMD provides an innovative tool that will allow us to expand and deliver our urgent public health alerts quickly, especially when time is critical,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Cline. 

Medscape will support these efforts by distributing Oklahoma-specific email alerts to its network of registered clinical members throughout the state. These alerts will cover infectious disease outbreaks, environmental and product safety advisories, preparedness planning and response information, and public health developments in Oklahoma.

“As a leading source of health information and news, Medscape can swiftly and effectively reach healthcare providers with urgent health information when needed,” said Robert Marotta, Senior Vice President and Chief Regulatory Counsel of WebMD. “Our goal is to work alongside the Oklahoma State Department of Health on both a state and local level to enhance existing channels of communication to providers.”

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