Leaders in public health, emergency response, preparedness and health care from around the region gathered on Wednesday, May 1, at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center, in Overland Park, for the third Kansas Infectious Disease Symposium. More than 130 attended the one-day event and learned how infectious diseases are contained and managed in the state of Kansas and the region.
Experts in infectious diseases, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections and influenza provided data and shared tips on how to plan for and manage outbreaks and disease investigations. Other presenters provided a perspective on opioid prevention and rabies control measures. Dr. Diane Peterson, Johnson County's chief medical examiner, was the lunchtime presenter and explained the role of forensic pathology in emerging infectious diseases. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment showed local health department staff how to integrate Essence surveillance data into their health department operations.
“Getting all of these local, state and federal partners in one room to share information and learn from one another will enhance our ability to prepare for and respond during a public health emergency,” said Lougene Marsh, director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. “Whether it’s a foodborne illness investigation, a measles outbreak or bioterrorism, the people in this room are the ones who will help us protect the community’s health.”
The annual event was presented by the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.