Are You Ready? Public Health Emergencies and the Law

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Crucial Issues Arising in Epidemics, Terrorist Attacks & Natural Catastrophe Will Be Addressed When Legal, Healthcare, Government & Business Professionals Convene in St. Louis May 18-20, 2006

“Are You Ready? Public Health Emergencies and the Law,” a major conference sponsored by The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, The American Bar Association and The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services with other leading organizations will convene in St. Louis on May 18-20, 2006.

David J. Massa, conference chairman, said, “This important conference assembles legal and government officials, first responders, health and business professionals from across the Midwest and the nation who must deal with legal and government issues arising in public health emergencies. Expert presentations will address legal, public health, risk management and government coordination issues for epidemics, bio-terrorism events and natural catastrophes in the post-Katrina environment.”

“This major conference also will provide education and networking opportunities for legal-health professionals and government officials, business leaders and first responders to help assure that all are able to address their communities’ needs in public health crisis,” Mr. Massa added.

Cosponsors of the non-profit conference include state bar associations in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas, The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and the Saint Louis University School of Law Center for Health Law Studies, among others. Many presentations will qualify for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits.

Some of many presentations will include: Defining Public Health Emergencies; Restricting Freedom of Movement & Travel; Coordinating National Guard, NORTHCOM & Other Military Assets; Protecting People: Mandatory Isolation & Quarantine; Managing Property: Isolation & Quarantine of Agricultural & International Goods; Mandatory Emergency Providers, including Hospitals’ EMTALA Responsibilities; Reimbursement After Emergency; Risk Management & Liability Issues; Lessons from SARS Outbreaks in China & Canada; and Katrina: Lessons Learned.

The conference will be hosted at the Millennium Hotel, 200 South Fourth Street, in downtown St. Louis. It opens with a reception at 7 pm Thursday, May 18, with presentations all day Friday, May 19, followed by a Speakers’ Dinner that evening and presentations Saturday, May 20. Registrants may choose to attend the entire conference or day-specific activities, such as individual sessions that qualify for CLE credits, the Opening Reception or Speakers’ Dinner event.

Bruce Clements, Director of the Center for Emergency Response and Terrorism at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said, "Experience from Hurricane Katrina response shows us that understanding the legal, health, regulatory and government coordination issues of public health emergencies is vital to addressing the preparedness needs of every community."

The conference is organized by The MidAmerica Public Health Law Emergency Response Committee, L.L.C., a non-profit entity that supports legal preparedness in the public health system to address terrorism and other public health priorities; promotes continuing education in legal and health communities; and works to strengthen partnerships among elected officials, legal practitioners, health professionals, government entities and law enforcement agencies.

For registration information, please call 573.526.4768 or visit the website http://www.PHELEGALRESPONSE.org. For sponsorship information, please call 314.615.6207.

Media contacts: Jeff Dunlap @ 314.993.6925 or Mary Kay Hager @ 573.526.3798.

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