Get Ready newsletter: Get Ready Now!: Fall 2011 issue

APHA Flu Near You Challenge
Flu Near You - Take the challenge!APHA's Get Ready campaign has partnered with HealthMap and the Skoll Global Threats Fund to help track flu cases via a new online tracking tool known as Flu Near You. People use the online flu surveillance tool to report their flu symptoms and help create a dynamic map of the flu and its spread — in real time! To be successful we need to engage the public. Enroll yourself, ask family and friends to join, use social media and other outreach channels. APHA will give cash and other awards totaling over $150,000 to APHA members if they enroll enough active users over the course of the year! Read our rules and regulations and our FAQs, and check our new resources and customizable logos. Register now and start signing up Flu Near You users today! Since the contest began, two APHA members registered as recruiters in the challenge and won free iPads for their strong leadership and initiative. Congrats to APHA members Jennifer Celio of New York and Tom Engle of Oregon! To learn more, watch the instructional Flu Near You video and find out what you can do to become involved to help the cause.

Not an APHA member? You can still help track the flu in your community. Sign up to be part of the Flu Near You. Or become an APHA member and take part in the challenge.

APHA welcomes Michelle Holshue as Flu Near You fellow
APHA welcomes Michelle Holshue, RN, of Philadelphia, Pa., as the new APHA Flu Near You fellow. Holshue is a public health nurse with a strong background in infectious diseases surveillance and patient education, as well as marketing and communications experience. She graduated with honors from University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing, and has since served as a nurse in the Philadelphia area with high-risk populations. She will begin her fellowship at APHA in January 2012 and APHA is excited to have her expertise on board.

Update from Get Ready Annual Meeting booth 
Surgeon GeneralThis year’s Get Ready booth at APHA’s Annual Meeting in the fall involved interactive trivia questions and handouts on the importance of emergency preparedness. APHA members also had the opportunity to register for the recently announced APHA Flu Near You Challenge at the booth. A particular highlight was when Surgeon General Regina Benjamin walked through the Exposition Hall and made a stop at our Get Ready booth, visiting and playing the Get Ready games. Photo: Courtesy of Charlene Bright.  

This holiday season APHA is partnering with the Know Your Dose Campaign
'Tis the season of parties, family gatherings, shopping, decorating and travelling to visit friends and family. It’s also cold and flu season and keeping track of any medicines we’re taking and giving to our family members can be difficult amidst the chaos. That’s why it is especially important during the holidays to remind patients, caregivers and the public to: (1) always read and follow the labels of their medicines; (2) know if their medicine contains acetaminophen; and (3) never take two medicines that contain acetaminophen at the same time. The Know Your Dose Campaign has a short list of helpful holiday health tips and materials to help educate patients and consumers on how to appropriately use medicines that contain acetaminophen. Visit for more information.

General Announcements
Congratulations to the winners of APHA's 2011 Get Ready Video Contest
APHA's Get Ready campaign has announced the winners of its 2011 video contest. Three winners were named in the contest, which challenged students to raise awareness of emergency preparedness. The video contest was open to U.S. students in sixth through 12th grade. Students were asked to create short videos that would help promote preparedness for natural or human-made disasters, infectious disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies. Congratulations to first place winner, Lena Rutherford of Golden, Colo.; second place winner, Bethany Wallach of Fort Mill, S.C.; and third place winner, McKay Olson of Burlington, Wyo. Check out their short videos now.

School-based health centers implement Get Ready Day activities and win contest
Three school-based health centers won the APHA Get Ready contest this fall by implementing Get Ready Day events and submitting a report to APHA on their creative, innovative activities. Congratulations to the North Shore-LIJ Student Health Center at Franklin K. Lane High School Campus in Brooklyn, N.Y., the Metro Community Provider Network’s school based clinic at Stein Elementary in Lakewood, Col. and Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!) in Raleigh, N.C. 

Stein ElementaryNorth Shore LIJ recognized Get Ready Day by highlighting flu prevention and preparedness. Its objective was to increase yearly flu vaccination and educate the community about ways to prevent flu. Metro Community Provider Network’s at Stein Elementary: The Stein Kids & Teen Clinic has a health education team composed of Americorps Health Educators and MCPN staff. The Stein Health Education team created a curriculum aimed at educating Stein elementary students on what it means to be ready for an emergency, in hopes that would share this information with their families. Photo by Metro Community Provider Network’s school-based clinic at Stein Elementary in Lakewood, Colo.

At Youth Empowered Solutions, they held a Get Ready Day event that capitalized on social networking and utilized the power of high school aged students for the “Get Ready Tweet-A-Thon.” They also created a pro-immunization message and tried to promote the importance of school-based health centers.  

*To learn more in general about APHA’s work on school-based health centers, visit the newly revamped website or contact Terri Wright, director of the Center for School, Health and Education, Division of Public Health Policy and Practice at APHA, via email at

Get Ready Scholarship: More information to come by Jan. 17
Check the Get Ready website by Jan. 17 for more information, rules and regulations regarding this year’s Get Ready Scholarship essay contest, for high school, college and graduate students. The contest will be limited to the first 300 submissions received in each school level category. Read excerpts from last year’s 2011 winners. The new 2012 essay questions will be posted by Jan. 17, so be sure to check back and stay tuned.

Earn an emergency preparedness-related specialty degree
The Association of Schools of Public Health announced the release of the Master’s-Level Public Health Preparedness and Response Competency Model Version 1.1, which is designed to provide a framework of the core knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for a student to demonstrate upon completing a master’s degree or graduate certificate in public health preparedness and response. Learn more about the ASPH member schools that offer preparedness-related masters-level specialty degrees, credit-bearing and non credit-bearing certificates.

National Influenza Vaccination Week, was held in December and highlighted the importance of continuing influenza vaccination, as well as foster greater use of flu vaccine after the holiday season into January and beyond. It's not too late to get your flu shot! 

National Public Health Week: National Public Health Week 2012 will be observed April 2-8, 2012. The theme is “A Healthier America Begins Today: Join the Movement!” APHA continues to champion the creation of the healthiest nation in one generation with an emphasis on public health’s essential role in prevention. One day of the week will focus specifically on communicable diseases, drawing attention to prevention measures. Download the brochure to learn more.

Preparing for Winter: APHA fact sheets to provide guidance
The first day of winter 2011 begins tomorrow, Dec. 22. Are you prepared should a winter storm strike? Check out the “How to get ready for winter storms” APHA Get Ready fact sheet. It is also available in Spanish.

Get Ready Workplace Preparedness
Just available, Q&A with Bob Boyd, president and CEO of Agility Recovery, a company that develops workplace disaster preparedness plans, in Charlotte, N.C.: Disasters are inevitable, but preparedness extends beyond having a plan at home. In the interview, Boyd provides the Get Ready campaign with information to help business owners, managers and employees prepare for emergencies.

The interview is also available in podcast format, as well as transcript. In addition, the Get Ready campaign also has a fact sheet on workplace preparedness, also available in Spanish. Read and share with your coworkers.

Get Ready gifts promote preparedness
Get Ready jerseyLooking for a last-minute holiday gift? How about spreading the message of preparedness via the Get Ready Store? A Get Ready shirt, hat, bag, mug or apron would make a great present. We even have gifts for babies! (It's never too early to be prepared!) Check out our latest design, as seen at the Get Ready booth at APHA's 139th Annual Meeting. It's available on jerseys, T-shirts and more! (iPad case, anyone?) Browse the store now and check out all our great selections!

Place your request for Get Ready animated DVD today
APHA’s Get Ready campaign’s first-ever video that teaches the importance of emergency preparedness through a story about an ant and grasshopper. DVDs are again available and limited orders can be placed by contact Charlene Bright at

Send a Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Health e-Cards
Consider sending your loved ones a personalized health e-card in preparation for this holiday season. For example, how about the “Deck Yourself for Flu” e-card?

Social media
Check out the latest blog entries from APHA’s Get Ready campaign
APHA’s Get Ready Blog posts a new entry every Friday. We encourage you to follow us or sign up to subscribe to our blog via email. Here are some links to recent blog entries:

• Congratulations to the winners of the APHA’s 2011 Get Ready Video Contest! 
• Get Ready Mailbag: Can I get sick from the germs on my cell phone?
• Holiday Travels: Don’t get sick when you travel overseas
• Antibiotics saves lives, but only when used properly
• Do you have it in you? Enter the APHA Flu Near You Challenge Today!

Follow our Get Ready Twitter handle
Do you tweet? If so, consider following our Get Ready Twitter handle that provides weekly links to public health news and research.
Donate: Show your support for APHA’s Get Ready campaign. Make your tax deductible year-end contribution today.

Contact us
Tell us! Send your comments, questions, suggestions and ideas or call 202-777-2742.

Return to the Get Ready Now! newsletter home page

To sign up to receive the Get Ready Now! newsletter for free via e-mail, visit APHA's e-newsletter sign-up page.

Posted Dec. 21, 2011