MEDIA ADVISORY - Top Federal and State Officials to Speak at VT Pandemic Planning Meeting

DATE: January 10, 2006
Contact: Communication Office

WHO: HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt
Vermont Governor Jim Douglas
Dr. John Agwunobi, US Dept of Health and Human Services
Dr. Paul Jarris, Vermont Department of Health

WHAT: Vermont Pandemic Planning Summit
WHEN: Thursday, January 12, 2006, 8:30 a.m. (This meeting is open to the press.) Media availability at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center, 870 Williston Road, South Burlington, VT 05403

CONTACTS:  HHS Press Office, (202) 690-6343 , Jason Gibbs, Office of the Governor, (802) 828-3333

State and local response in the face of pandemic is critical. President Bush charged HHS Secretary Leavitt with bringing together state and local public health officials from across the nation to discuss their plans for a pandemic, and to help them improve pandemic planning at the community level. Secretary Leavitt convened officials from every U.S. state, territory, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. on December 5 in response to that call. At that meeting Secretary Leavitt announced that he and other top HHS officials would attend planning summits in every state during the next several months. Vermont is the third of these summits. The official U.S. government Web site for information on pandemic flu and avian influenza is