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The flu pandemic of 1918 killed over 100 million people worldwide and experts agree that we are overdue for another, perhaps, even deadlier outbreak. To help the local community learn to face this potential global crisis, a group of MDI organizations is presenting a free workshop titled “The Sky is Falling” on Thursday, February 12th from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.
 
The workshop, which will be held in the Maren Auditorium of the MDI Biological Laboratory, will help participants learn how maintain essential public services and business activity during and after a pandemic episode, and to minimize mortalities.
 
The workshop is designed for individuals whose work connects them to groups of people who would be affected by an outbreak. They include, but are not limited to, behavioral health counselors, school administrators, clergy, nurses and other health professionals, social service groups, community center directors, funeral directors, business managers, town officials, and childcare professionals.
 
The workshop will include a history of pandemic flu and current forecasts of the Avian Flu, thought by leading experts to be the likely source of the next worldwide pandemic.
 
“Hitting Home,” a role-play presentation will portray an outbreak of the deadly Avian Flu as it spreads across the globe and reaches the communities of Mount Desert Island. Players acting the parts of local law enforcement, government and health care officials will tell the story.
 
A breakout session will allow participants to work on solutions to problems provided by the workshop presenters. This interactive portion of the workshop will allow participants to work as a team on a variety of scenarios that could confront the community. Teams will be asked to share their solutions with the broader group.
 
Lunch will be followed by a panel presentation by a group of experts who will field questions and provide answers.
 
To register on-line for this free workshop, visit www.healthyacadia.org/pfworkshopreg.htm. Space is limited for this workshop; interested participants are encouraged to register early. For more information call 288-5331.
 
“The Sky is Falling” is a collaborative presentation of Acadia National Park, American Red Cross, College of the Atlantic, Healthy Acadia, League of Towns, Mount Desert Island Hospital, Mount Desert Nursing Association, Southwest Harbor/Tremont Ambulance Service, Town of Bar Harbor, Town of Mount Desert. The event is sponsored by Healthy Acadia, Machias Savings Bank, The Jackson Laboratory, and Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory.

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