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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2002

Governor Ryan Announces Bioterriosm Summit in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan announced today that the Illinois Department of Public Health will team up with the Illinois Public Health Association to sponsor “Preparing the Heartland,” the Illinois Bioterrorism Summit 2002. The Summit--to be held May 28-30, at the Hyatt Regency Oak Brook--will provide a comprehensive overview of the federal, state and local bioterrorism preparedness activities and bring together approximately 800 public health practitioners and first responders.

“This multidisciplinary program was designed to benefit a broad range of public health professionals involved in bioterrorism response,” Governor Ryan said. “The conference will provide the latest on preparedness activities, health and medical plans, emerging diseases and new treatment methods.” State Homeland Security and Public Health officials will be joined by other conference speakers, including Richard Preston, a journalist and best-selling author of non-fiction books about public health disasters including “The Hot Zone,” and “The Cobra Event.” Neal L. Cohen, M.D., Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Public Health, also will address the conference. Dr. Neal will discuss his involvement in the events surrounding September 11th, including confronting the anthrax threat in Manhattan. According to state Homeland Security Director Matt Bettenhausen, “the program content is especially relevant to state and local health professionals with responsibilities in bioterrorism emergency response along with those involved in public health administration, environmental health, nursing, communicable disease, laboratory, food protection, immunization, hospital emergency services and other health areas.” The Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, Dr. John Lumpkin added: “the ultimate goal is to provide conference attendees with new ideas and practical information to assist them in preparing their communities.”


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