U of M hosts business planning for pandemic influenza

January 25, 2006

The summit will feature presentations by the nation's leading experts on the issues of pandemic influenza, including U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Michael Leavitt, Michael Osterholm, director of CIDRAP, and former DHHS Secretary Tommy Thompson. Conference attendees will hear presentations that address legal, healthcare, infrastructure, human resource, government support, and transportation issues that affect all industries. Business sectors will then break out separately to discuss specific industry needs and begin plans for continuity during an influenza pandemic.

"This is a one of a kind meeting where we will have both general and applied sessions with current, comprehensive, and authoritative information to help businesses plan for the impact of a pandemic," said Osterholm, Ph.D., M.P.H. "To have all these businesses together to address their specific and collective needs in practical terms is critical to useful planning. This summit is about moving forward a blueprint for business preparedness."

"Pandemic influenza needs to be on the minds of all organizations. It is not an 'if' but 'when' scenario," said Ann Beauchesne, executive director, homeland security division, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "This is a critical event that should be a priority for all our members."

Specific sessions are planned for the healthcare, manufacturing, information services, agriculture and food, financial services, trade, leisure and hospitality, transportation and warehousing, energy, and construction and real estate business sectors.

University of Minnesota

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