HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – Commissioner Shaun Van Doren announced at a recent Commissioner Board meeting that the Health Department has been awarded a public health grant, through the New Jersey Local Information Network Communications System (LINCS), in the amount of $404,635 to be used in support of the county’s Public Health Preparedness Division.
These funds have been granted to the Health Department, since 2002 from the New Jersey Department of Health.
Van Doren, who serves as liaison to the Health Department, said, “These important grant funds will be used to continue to support and enhance the ongoing efforts of the county to respond to public emergencies and implement projects targeted at improving the public health infrastructure. The work of the Preparedness Division was instrumental during the COVID-19 response, and the group continues to work on a number of initiatives including, preventing, preparing for, and responding to serious public health crises including influenza, disease outbreaks, wide-scale natural disasters, and terrorist attacks.”
For the current grant period, funding will be utilized by the Preparedness team to ensure elements of planning and operational readiness for ongoing risks related to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear incidents, as well as cyberattacks.
Monies from this grant will also be used to address Emerging Infections Diseases, like influenza or COVID-19 along with addressing new and emerging 21st century pandemic threats.
Karen DeMarco, Director for the Hunterdon County Department of Health said, “The Preparedness team will continue to ensure the Health Department’s ability to respond to public health emergencies through on going preparation, training, and exercising of emergency response plans. We thank the New Jersey Department of Health, County Health Officials, and the Hunterdon County Commissioner Board for their continued support of our grant application.”
Grant funds are used to offset staff salaries, and also for the training efforts for staff and volunteers.
Additional elements of the Preparedness team plans include Community Preparedness, Emergency Public Information and Warning, Information Sharing, Medical Countermeasure Dispensing of vaccine or pills, and Medical Material Management and Distribution of personal protective equipment.