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Zika preparedness: A look back at an expert panel discussion on pandemics

The Zika virus, a mosquito-borne virus linked to neurological birth disorders, is becoming a problem worldwide. In fact, the World Health Organization recently announced that the outbreak was a “public health emergency of international concern.” [1] Zika has already spread to “25 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean” and “more than 30 Americans have been diagnosed with Zika after returning from visits to countries with Zika outbreaks.” [1]

With Zika dominating the headlines recently, we wanted to take a look back at our previous Influenza and Pandemic Preparedness panel webinar.  Our expert panelists brought us through the steps that organization leaders in the public, private, and healthcare sectors are doing to keep their staff, employees, and residents safe.

Francis Willett, Director of Professional Services at Everbridge moderated the cross-industry influenza and pandemic panel that provided a holistic view on pandemic preparedness. Panelists Andrew Woods, Stacie Neal, Debra Abromaitis, and Nancy Dupont joined Francis in this webinar.

Andrew Woods is the former Senior Risk Analyst for Cargill PLC and has been working in the Business Continuity field since 2004. Andrew boasts a wealth of knowledge of both Business Continuity and the Everbridge platform, and brings a corporate perspective to the panel.

Stacie Neal works as the Emergency Management Planner for the Charlotte Fire Department, and has a good amount of experience with emergency mass notification systems as well as pandemic planning in the public sector.

Nancy Dupont and Debra Abromaitis both work at John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington, CT and have over 30 years experience as RNs. Debra is the Director of Quality, RegulatoryCompliance, and Patient Support, while Nancy is the Director of Epidemiology. Both of these women have an abundance of experience dealing with influenza in a health care setting.

Watch the video clips below to hear ways in which the expects prepare for an influenza pandemic and steps you should be taking to avoid putting yourself and your employees at risk:

What is Everbridge and how can you leverage its features to assist your organization during flu season?

What unique details can be expected from this year’s flu season?

How does a healthcare organization deal with staffing concerns during the flu season?

What information and options do you give to employees in an office and how do you share it?

What resources are used for planning and communication strategies around influenza and pandemics?

What are effective strategies for public, private, and healthcare organizations to collaborate?

How can residents access/acquire information from public health organizations?

What are best practices for providing information without creating panic?

If you’re interested in learning more about the panelists or wish to hear their answers to more questions about pandemic preparedness, you can watch the full webinar here.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a federal agency that conducts and supports health promotion, prevention and preparedness activities in the United States with the goal of improving overall public health.


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