November 03, 2017
The University of New England hosted two public health emergency preparedness training exercises in collaboration with state and community partners, offering free influenza vaccinations to the UNE community and public as part of the events.
“For several years UNE has registered to be part of a volunteer network of Points of Distribution, or PODs, that will serve as centers for administering medicines, vaccines, and/or necessary supplies for the public in the event of a large-scale emergency”, explained Dora Anne Mills, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, vice president for Clinical Affairs and director of UNE’s Center for Health Innovation. “To fully prepare for such an event, UNE faculty, staff, and students work in collaboration with state and community partners to simulate such an event, and offer free influenza vaccines to the public as part of the exercise.”
In Biddeford, volunteers vaccinated more than 200 UNE students, faculty and staff. In Portland, they provided vaccines for more than 100 UNE community members and members of the public. This is the second year in a row that UNE has partnered with local and state public health agencies to conduct a POD exercise.
The exercise is done in collaboration with a number of partners, including: Maine CDC, Cumberland District Public Health Council, Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency, the City of Portland’s Maine Cities Readiness Initiative, Walgreens and Maine Responds (Maine’s emergency health volunteer system). “As part of this initiative, UNE’s Center for Health Innovation works collaboratively with our health professions programs as well as state and community partners to provide learning experiences for our students. A number of medical, public health, nursing, pharmacy, and other students attend sessions run by emergency preparedness experts and assist in administering vaccines,” said Mills. “As a result, southern Maine will be better prepared for an emergency today, and tomorrow’s health professionals will also be better prepared.”
To learn more about the Center for Excellence in Health Innovation, visit: www.une.edu/academics/centers-institutes/center-excellence-health-innovation
To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions