Workshop to Address Communicating with Vulnerable Populations during Emergencies

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) will host an interactive television (ITV) workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Eastern Time on Oct. 29 to address communicating with vulnerable populations during public health emergencies or other disasters.

“The Kentucky Outreach and Information Network has been one of DPH’s key partners for getting out information to vulnerable populations during public health emergencies,” said Stephanie Mayfield, M.D., commissioner of DPH. “Reaching these populations with accurate and timely information during emergencies is one of our top priorities, and the program's comprehensive materials and approach have set a standard for public health outreach to vulnerable populations across the nation.”

The interactive workshop will give Kentucky Outreach and Information Network (KOIN) members the opportunity to engage in collaborative discussions, network and share ideas on ways to improve communication and outreach to vulnerable populations throughoutKentucky.

This year’s agenda features topics on responding to the needs of the blind populations during emergencies; pediatric preparedness; the needs of mental health patients during emergencies; and an update on the KOIN and Kentucky Functional Access Needs Collaborative.

The meeting will be led from the Kentucky Department for Public Health in Frankfort and broadcasted to ITV sites at local health departments across the state. This format will allow local health department officials to get acquainted with their regional KOIN members to better prepare for emergencies.

The goal of the KOIN, established in 2004, is to ensure that in the event of a public health emergency, communication channels are in place to contact some of Kentucky’s most difficult-to-reach populations. Those populations include the deaf and hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired, limited English proficiency speakers, individuals with low literacy levels, the elderly, disabled, the economically disenfranchised and residents of remote rural areas.

If interested in attending a local workshop, contact Barbara Fox at (502) 564-6786, ext. 3102, or by e-mail at for a list of participating ITV sites.

More information about the KOIN is available online at


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