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–The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is hosting a training course on public health emergency law for emergency responders. The course, “Public Health Emergency Law: A Foundational Course for Emergency Response Practitioners,” takes place on Friday, May 18, 2007 from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford.

“Connecticut’s emergency responders are essential to our health, safety, and homeland security,” stated Governor M. Jodi Rell. “Providing training to our responders is a priority for the state, and this course will help ensure that our responders are knowledgeable about specific legal issues and authorities in a public health emergency.”

The course will cover critical topics such as how legal powers and restraints apply in public health emergencies and the key legal implications of actions taken in response to, and recovery from, public health emergencies. The program is targeted to emergency managers, public safety, private and municipal attorneys, members of the judicial system, and state and local public health officials.

“We know from our experience with anthrax and other crisis situations that emergency response depends upon the collaboration and involvement of a broad array of responders,” stated DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H. “It is essential that our preparedness and response partners are knowledgeable about public health emergency law and the legal authority of public health officials during a health emergency, such as a plague or pandemic influenza.”

The keynote speaker for the event will be Ernest B. Abbott, founder and principal of FEMA Law Associates, PLLC, a firm providing legal services to the emergency management community with particular emphasis on laws and regulations governing preparedness and response recovery.

Mr. Abbott previously served as general counsel of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during the Clinton Administration and also held senior legal and policy positions in both the private sector at Tenneco Energy, Houston and the public sector at the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

The course includes a case study so that participants can apply the information provided during the session and gain an understanding of how public health and emergency management work together in public health emergencies.

Course development, instruction, and facilitation includes legal counsel and officials from the Department of Public Health, the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, the Office of the Governor; faculty at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Trinity College, Robinson and Cole, LLP, and a local health consultant.

The event is co-sponsored by the Yale Center for Public Health Preparedness. The center is part of a national network of centers funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide education and training to the public health workforce and their preparedness partners in Connecticut.

The course is free. Pre-registration is required by May 15, 2007 and is available online at For more information on the program, contact Kristin Sullivan, MA at DPH, 860-509-7126 or

The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.


To contact the department, please visit its website at or call (860) 509-7270.