Southern Nevada Health District, Clark County, UNLV conduct Mega-POD full-scale emergency response exercise
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 31, 2019
LAS VEGAS – On Sunday, June 2, the Southern Nevada Health District, Clark County, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas will hold The Mega-POD, a full-scale emergency response exercise at the Thomas & Mack Center. The exercise will test plans that include dispensing medication to Southern Nevadans in a public health emergency and approximately 200 staff members from Clark County playing multiple roles during the simulated event.
Certain public health emergencies may require the Health District to provide medications or immunizations to the public. The Health District works with jurisdictional partners such as Clark County and UNLV to be able to set up Points of Dispensing (PODs) in large facilities as part of its response. Along with testing the Health District’s ability to dispense medication to the community during a widespread public health emergency, this exercise will test the logistics of the Thomas & Mack Center as a large-scale POD location.
“Full-scale exercises give us an opportunity to put into action what we have created on paper. It’s an opportunity to work directly with our partners to test key elements of our Point of Dispensing Plan,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District. “At the commencement of the exercise, we will have a better understanding of how our plan will work when implemented during a real-word scenario, what components may need to be revised, and areas to enhance. The experience of participating in an exercise of this scale and the feedback from our partners is vital to our ongoing efforts to protect the public health of our community.”
Participation in The Mega-POD allows the Health District and its partners to test various parts of their respective response plans and train employees who may not have emergency response duties as part of their daily assignments. This exercise will include implementing inter-agency agreements, training employees in POD operations, testing the efficiency of POD set up and demobilization activities, and evaluating the POD plan’s ability to accommodate people with special needs.
“Clark County has a leading role in our community’s emergency planning and response activities, and we couldn’t deliver the support our residents and visitors need without the help and caring of our dedicated employees,” said Clark County Commission Chair Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who also serves as Chair of the Southern Nevada District Board of Health. “We welcome the opportunity to work with the Southern Nevada Health District and UNLV on this important exercise to test our ability to distribute mass medication to the public in the event of a large-scale health emergency.”
“UNLV is proud to partner with the Southern Nevada Health District and Clark County to continue building a resilient community,” said Adam Garcia, Associate Vice President and Director of University Police Services at UNLV. “This collaborative exercise at the Thomas & Mack Center gives us the chance to test plans, practice joint procedures, and make improvements that will enhance real-world implementation, which benefits everyone.”
The Southern Nevada Health District’s Office of Public Health Preparedness works with its jurisdictional partners to plan for emerging public health issues and to coordinate during community-wide responses and emergencies.
Additional information about PODs can be found on the Southern Nevada Point of Dispensing website.
The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.