The State Health Improvement Plan includes goals to increase community engagement in public health emergency activities and strengthen the capacity to respond to public health emergencies in a timely manner. Emergency preparedness requires participation from government, individuals and communities.
Public Health Emergency Preparedness is an important aspect of community health. Having the capacity to respond efficiently, effectively, and safely in a public health emergency can save lives and minimize the effects of a public health threat. A public health emergency can result from various hazards including natural disasters such as a hurricane, disease outbreaks such as pandemic flu, and deliberate acts such as aerosolized release of anthrax. In the event of a public health emergency we receive guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Our regional leadership group, called the Regional Preparedness Coordinator Committee, is made up of municipalities, fire departments, first responders, police departments, hospitals, family service organizations, colleges/schools, and County government.
Kirsten Vigneault is the Director of Community Health and Emergency Preparedness for the Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network. She first entered the field of Emergency Management in 2011 as a Fire Fighter and Emergency Medical Technician in Vermont during Tropical Storm Irene. She has since expanded her knowledge and expertise into the public health field including creating and maintaining the region's public health emergency annex to be used in the event of a public health emergency. Kirsten works with local community leaders to drive the region's public health initiatives governed by the Public Health Advisory Council. In her supervisory role with the Public Health Network, she oversees staff, programs, and projects as they relate to the Community Health Improvement Plan.