Hawaii in health workshop

LIHUE — Hawaii is one of six states selected to participate in the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices’ Public Health Preparedness and Response Workshop for State and Territorial Gubernatorial and Legislative Leadership.

The workshop’s location has yet to be detrimined, but representatives from Hawaii will be flying to that location in early May for an event focused 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 Hawaii 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. “Hawaii 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.”

Hepatitis A, dengue fever, and the ongoing mumps outbreak are on Hawaii’s list of local outbreaks involving multiple county, state, federal and private sector agencies. That’s in addition to the worldwide outbreaks of Ebola and Zika.

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 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,” Pressler said. “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.”

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