Press Contact: Patrick Rigby
Communications@njohsp.gov | 609.584.4392
WASHINGTON – The National Governors Association announced on March 7 that New Jersey is among six states selected to participate in a workshop to develop strategic action plans for implementation during public health emergencies.
New Jersey will be joined by representatives from Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon, and West Virginia at the workshop that will take place May 1-2.
“We have long valued our partnerships with the New Jersey State Police and New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH),” said New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) Director Jared Maples. “As part of the New Jersey team, we look forward to collaborating with other states and the National Governors Association to develop strategic plans to better prepare our State for public health emergencies, no matter where they arise.”
Public health emergencies have the potential to overwhelm states’ emergency response capabilities, potentially leading to widespread injury or loss of life. States have to prepare for diseases of national significance such as Ebola and the Zika virus as well as more localized outbreaks from other diseases like the measles.
“Most—if not all—emergencies have a public health impact, whether it is a global infectious disease like Ebola, a virus affecting pregnant women and infants like Zika, or a catastrophic hurricane like Superstorm Sandy,” said Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal. “Effective communication and collaboration will help ensure successful emergency operations among our health, law enforcement, and intelligence agency partners.”
The workshop is a collaborative effort between the selected states that grants governors, legislators, and other state officials an opportunity to gain greater awareness about policy solutions that will help mitigate the consequences of public health emergencies in their states.
“New Jersey’s selection by the National Governors Association provides the State Police, NJOHSP, and NJDOH the unique opportunity to work collaboratively with several states, which will assist us with fine tuning our strategic action plan implementation during public heath emergencies,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Acting Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We recognize that partnerships are critical to achieving success, and we look forward to strengthening and developing relationships as a result of the workshop.”
The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP), a Cabinet-level agency, was created in 2006. The Director serves as the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisor, and is responsible for leading and coordinating the State’s counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and emergency preparedness efforts while building resiliency throughout the State across all levels of government and the private sector. NJOHSP oversees and distributes discretionary State and federal homeland security and emergency preparedness funds on behalf of New Jersey. More information about NJOHSP can be found at www.njhomelandsecurity.gov.