Coausphs News

USPHS Team Deploys to Flint

2/8/2016 12:00:00 AM

A specialized team of U.S. Public Health Service officers deployed to Flint, MI, to conduct medical follow-up for children with high lead levels and assist local authorities in the response efforts. The city of Flint is reeling from a crisis of lead-contaminated water.

The Department of Health and Human Services issued a press release on February 3, 2016. “Our goal is to support the families of Flint as they get the care they deserve, and I can think of no better resource to aid in that effort than the talented, trained officers of the U.S. Commissioned Corps,” said Dr. Karen DeSalvo, acting assistant secretary for health, who oversees the Commissioned Corps. “These officers are part of a larger, dedicated federal response, and I am certain they will be an incredible asset to that effort.”

The Commissioned Corps team includes officers with clinical and public health backgrounds. The officers will augment the Genesee County Health Department's information line and help state authorities to "develop an engagement strategy and materials to reach and educate the community on mitigating the health effects of lead."

“The water crisis in Flint is a public health crisis and demands a public health response,” said Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the 19th U.S. Surgeon General, who provides operational command of the Commissioned Corps. “As we have done with natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy and with epidemics like Ebola, the Corps will respond to the situation in Flint in order to provide expert support to the community.”

COA applauds the efforts by the USPHS team. Your value as a uniformed service continues to shine.


Photo Credit: Bill Pugliano, Getty