Health Alert Network (HAN)

In 1999 the Springfield/Greene County Health Department began actively preparing to respond to a potential bioterrorist attack. Through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Springfield/Greene County Health Department launched the Health Alert Network.

The Health Alert Network (HAN) is a nationwide, integrated information and communication system that serves as a platform for distribution of health alerts, disease prevention guidelines and other information. It was also established to allow for distance learning, national disease surveillance and electronic laboratory reporting.

In short, the Springfield/Greene County Health Department uses HAN, in conjunction with an automated fax and email system, to quickly notify key partners in the greater Springfield area of potential or active health risks.

Most recently HAN has been used to issue food recall information to grocery stores and distributors in the area. It was also used to issue smallpox, SARS and monkeypox information to area physicians.

HAN is a continually expanding database, currently containing more than 2,000 contacts within the Springfield metropolitan statistical area. This database includes, but is not limited to, the following groups:

Physicians                  Local Public Health Care Providers
Veterinarians                  Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
Pharmacists                  Medical Examiners
Law Enforcement                  Grocery Stores
Media                  School Nurses

The Springfield metropolitan statistical area (MSA) recently expanded, and now includes seven counties:  Christian, Dallas, Greene, Polk, Stone, Taney and Webster. The State of Missouri has three MSAs:  Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis.

For more information on the Health Alert Network, click here to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Copyright © 2003 Springfield/Greene County Health Department, Bioterrorism / Emergency Response Team   

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