Gannett Health Services has a long-standing commitment to supporting the public health and emergency preparedness of the Cornell community.
careful monitoring of public health issues and their actual or potential impact on our community
collaboration with other Cornell departments, local providers of health and safety services, the Tompkins County Health Department, and the New York State Department of Health to assure proper care of the community in the face of an actual or potential threat to public health and safety
participation in Cornell, Ithaca, and Tompkins County emergency planning procedures and committees
maintenance of up-to-date emergency plans and procedures
regular training of Gannett staff to respond to a wide range of public health threats and emergencies
Emergency planning has emerged as a priority for communities of all sizes and locations, including for campus communities. The past decade has challenged the international community with new images and experiences of local and far-reaching disasters. The emergencies we must prepare for are diverse in nature and impact on the life of the campus and the lives of Cornellians.
- Natural disasters, including storms, fires, floods, etc.
- Infectious disease, including TB, meningococcal disease, SARS, food borne illness, pandemic influenza.
- Violence, including spontaneous, isolated acts of individuals and planned and coordinated terrorist plots.
We know from difficult experience that terrorism has a far-reaching impact, affecting the mental and emotional health of people far from the targeted location. The SARS epidemic of 2003 highlighted the evolving reality that Gannett (and other university health services) will be centrally engaged in the challenges of the new era of international public health.
Cornell's experience of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic reinforces the value of comprehensive planning. The Gannett staff and an interdisciplinary task group had been engaged since 2006 in a broad, unified university effort, planning for the eventuality of influenza pandemic. These preparations were invaluable in facilitating a rapid, informed, and comprehensive response to the H1N1 pandemic and the needs of the Cornell community.
We take our responsibility to protect the public health of our community with utmost seriousness and strive to balance these growing needs and the more daily and personal needs of our community for medical, counseling, and health promotion services. Fortunately, many organizations, on-campus and in the Ithaca area, are committed to working together to make sure we are as prepared as possible for emergency events that may impact our community.
For more information, we encourage you to look at these resources: