Collaboration with other departments key for Jefferson County Public Health Service

As a partial-service department, Jefferson County Public Health Service coordinates efforts with other local departments and the New York State Department of Health to prepare and respond to any emergencies.

"We are very lucky in the geographic region we live in that all responders and planners have excellent working relationships and continually support one another, not only through learning/preparedness, but also in response," Jeffrey Leiendecker, emergency preparedness and response coordinator for the Jefferson County Public Health Service, told BioPrepWatch. "Our office coordinates and liaisons with overall response efforts including Point Of Dispensing (POD) planning for mass countermeasures (countywide), but also with hospitals for general preparedness, response and drilling of threats such as Ebola."

Leiendecker, who started as vector control coordinator until increased education and involvement in preparedness led to his current appointment, said the New York State Health Department has provided countermeasures for targeted preparedness and response. By collaborating with community health care providers and hospitals, Jefferson County Public Health Service is able to execute appropriate countermeasures for biological emergencies.

The department's public information officer and health promotions staff works to provide general and event-specific preparedness information to residents.

"This department utilizes our website and heavily relies on our Facebook page in addition to traditional information sharing outlets," Leiendecker said.

An example of this are the links to Ebola information currently available on the department's website, referencing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health.

Planned interactions with schools, military groups and community organizations also keep residents educated and updated.