Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders
94 Market Street. Salem, N.J. 08079

CONTACT: Curt Harker
Deputy Clerk of the Board

ext. 8203

August 29, 2002


SALEM -- "Salem County is one of the first to apply and receive almost $618,000 in grant aid to greatly improve readiness response to disease outbreak, Bio-terror events, and other public health threats," said Freeholder Director Dave Sparks.

"This cooperative effort with Cumberland County will make the best use of previously limited resources to increase our detection and identification of abnormal incidence of disease by specialized staff utilizing the latest technology to rapidly communicate with hospitals and other reporting sources," said Sparks.

Health and Social Services Freeholder Chair Sue Bestwick said, "This grant allocates funds to build an enhanced electronic communication system for our Public Health experts to accurately gather data for analysis. The same system can transmit health alerts to health care providers. Staff will develop and disseminate clear health education information to our rural and diverse community."

The grant allows for hiring of five professional staff to provide services of epidemiology, public health education, LINCS (Local Information and Communication System) and information technology coordination, staff development, and quality assurance. The State will hire a Planner assigned to Salem/Cumberland Counties.

The State of New Jersey has received $27 Million from the Federal Government covering September 2002 through August 2003. The State will distribute $8 Million to counties.

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