Mass Dispensing Area 31 Volunteer Website

Windsor - South Windsor CT


Public Health Threats

Are You Prepared?

Emergency Response


Contact Us





Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, 
E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Neletter





What is MDA #31?

For public health emergencies, the state of Connecticut is divided into 41 Mass Dispensing Areas or MDAs. Each MDA covers a population of 50,000 or more. MDA #31 includes Windsor and South Windsor. These two towns have been planning and responding to public health emergencies together since 2002.

MDA #31 is a volunteer organization coordinated by the Windsor Health department. Citizens who join MDA #31 pay no dues. They simply register with MDA #31 to be notified in the case of a public health emergency and given the opportunity to help out, if they are willing and able at that time.

Free training sessions are offered at least once a year in each town to update volunteers on what kinds of emergencies can activate MDA #31 and how we might respond. Typically MDA #31 is activated when there is a need to give residents medicine or shots to either treat or prevent an unexpected disease that is in the community. In 2009 MDA #31 operated six H1N1 vaccination clinics (three per town) over a 10-week period. We vaccinated more than 2,000 residents. Other examples of diseases that MDA #31 might help respond to include anthrax, smallpox, and pneumonic plague.

If you would like to learn more about MDA #31, contact us at


Volunteer Activation Drill

Each year we will be testing our ability to activate our volunteers. This drill is unannounced so that we can simulate a real emergency and determine what percent of our volunteers we can successfully contact. If for any reason you are no longer willing or able to volunteer, please let us know. Call the Windsor Health Department at (860) 285-1823.

Please be sure your phone numbers are up-to-date with MDA #31!!  Click here to download a registration form.

New Volunteers

Want to sign up with Mass Dispensing Area #31 to help out in a public health emergency? Click here to download a registration form.


Message from the Regional Coordinator

For the past six years, planning for bioterrorist and large scale health and natural emergencies has been a major focus for municipalities across this country.  In Connecticut, this planning effort has been directed by local health departments following the specific goals and objectives developed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Connecticut Department of Public Health.  Plans have been developed for responding to and immunizing our entire populations against smallpox, pandemic flu, and anthrax, and these plans have been drilled and tested on a local, regional and statewide basis.  As we continue through our sixth year of planning, our major emphasis will be on three elements:  drilling and exercising plans on a local and regional level; formally assessing the plans that have been developed using a Technical Assistance Review tool (TAR) developed by the CDC; and training staff and volunteers on the specifics of distributing vaccine and medications to all segments of our population.

Toward this latter point of distributing vaccine and medications, the major focus has been on how best to locate, open and operate a clinic site and on the most efficient ways to get people to, from and through these clinics.  This process is termed a pull model, that is, getting people to and through our clinic sites quickly and efficiently.  However, over the past two years, rather than focusing on how to get people to and through our clinics, focus has been directed on how to get medications and vaccines out to our residents, a push model.  The theory behind the push model is that by delivering medications to residents rather than having residents coming to clinic sites, disruption and confusion are reduced, the pressures on security are lessened, and volunteer efficiency is improved.  This push model approach was initially tested in Connecticut in 2004 by MDA #31 and the Capital Region Emergency Planning Committee (CREPC).  Since that initial test, various approaches to the push model have been tested nationally resulting in a more firm belief that using push and pull approaches in tandem may be the best way to get medications and vaccines to all segments of our community in a quick and efficient manner.  You will hear more about these approaches in the coming months at our various training sessions.

Finally, I want to strongly encourage everyone in both communities to learn as much as they can about being prepared and participating in the various training opportunities offered by our federal, state and local partners. The time to be prepared is prior to an event, not when the event is upon us.  Later in this newsletter, Allyson Schulz, MDA #31�s Public Health Preparedness Coordinator, lists ways in which you can become informed and participate in our planning process.  Please take advantage of these various opportunities by reading, training, volunteering and asking questions.

Michael A. Pepe PhD, MPH, RS, CHO, DAAS

Regional Clinic Coordinator

Click here for archived Message from the Regional Coordinator

Volunteer Newsletter



© Copyright 2005 Mass Dispensing Area 31 Clinic Committee (Windsor, CT and South Windsor, CT USA)