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Pilot Program Would Give Tippecanoe County Health Department Better Access To Outbreak Info

World Bank Photo Collection

The Marion County Health Department has asked Tippecanoe County officials to partner with them on a new initiative designed to disseminate information about public health events more quickly.

Tippecanoe County Health Administrator Craig Rich says hospitals currently report concerns to the state Department of Health, which eventually disseminates the information to county health departments.

“We’re interested in, obviously, flu outbreaks, food-borne illness. Marion County actually tracks their carbon monoxide poisonings to decide if it’s accidental or suicide, is there trends and that sort of thing," says Rich. "So any of that data that has to be reported is something that could be interesting to us.

He says a two-year pilot program, which will also include Hendricks County, will share that data with county officials at the same time as the state.

"If that works out I think one of their goals is to have everyone that has the ability to look at the information, that have epidemiologists, to do this," says Rich.

Tippecanoe County Commissioners gave preliminary approval to the plan Monday morning.

Final approval is expected at their June 1st meeting.

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