Mass Dispensing Area 31 Volunteer Newsletter Windsor/
South Windsor
March 2008

Dear Paula,

Thanks for being an MDA31 volunteer! This newsletter will keep you informed regarding various aspects of clinic organization and training dates.

in this issue
  • A Reminder To All Volunteers
  • Letter from the Regional Clinic Coordinator
  • Stay Connected!
  • Visited TRAINConnecticut Lately??

    Letter from the Regional Clinic 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.

    Charles J. Petrillo, Jr., Dr.PH

    Regional Clinic Coordinator


    Stay Connected!
    2008 is here and MDA #31's New Year's Resolution is to do a better job of staying connected to its volunteer corps. We are very proud to have recruited so many wonderful, dedicated members of the Windsor and South Windsor communities over the years. This year we will be reaching out to you in a variety of ways.

    First, keep your eyes out for a "snail mail" message from the MDA asking you to confirm your interest in serving as a clinic volunteer. It is vital that we receive your completed registration form so that we have accurate contact information for you. Please help us out by returning your form in a timely manner.


    Visited TRAINConnecticut Lately??
    TRAINConnecticut is an online training resource for public health volunteers and professionals. As part of our contract with the State, MDA #31 is required to have all its public health emergency response volunteers register on this website. Doing so allows us to maintain training records centrally.

    If you have not already registered, please visit today. Step-by-step instructions are available on the MDA website. If you don't have computer access at home, feel free to ask your local librarian for assistance:

    - Leeann Costello at the Windsor Public Library, 323 Broad St, Windsor
    - Gaye Rizzo at the Wilson Branch Library, 365 Windsor Ave., Windsor
    - Mary Etter at the South Windsor Public Library, 1550 Sullivan Ave., South Windsor.


    A Reminder To All Volunteers
    Please remember that it is imperative that ALL MEDICAL volunteers create an account on the Public Health Education and Training site Once you are logged on to the web site's home page, click the "create an account" link on the left hand side of the page. From there follow the prompts for the demographic data and submit your entry. Once you have created your account, you are then eligible to take ANY of the training courses offered through the system.

    More info . . .

    Quick Links...

    Our Next Training


    CT Dept of Public Health

    phone: 860-285-1964