University of Alberta
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Public Health Response Committee

The Public Health Response Committee, chaired by Dr. Olive Yonge, Vice-Provost (Academic Programs), is composed of a broad representation across campus. Its mandate is to assess the University's readiness to deal with a sudden public health crisis and to prepare action plans in the event of such an occasion. Currently the main focus on this committee is on a potential Avian Flu pandemic outbreak.

A major component of the University's preparedness are the IT services that need to be available during such a crisis. If, in an extreme situation, the University is forced to shutdown for a period of time ranging from one week to more than a month, what IT services should be available and how they should be maintained so information could still be provided to the students and staff and the University show a minimal presence to the outside world?

Some of the issues that require examination are:

  • what are the "essential" IT services that need to be maintained during such an occasion and what is the priority for maintaining these services?
  • what is the minimal number of staff required to provide these services?
  • how well could the IT units provide these services if at least 30% of the staff were ill at home?
  • should staff be required to perform essential IT maintenance on campus in the event of a University closure for health reasons?
  • can space within these units be converted into temporary "living quarters" so the staff can maintain these services in a semi-quarantined environment?
  • what (if any) backups are required if the University's local internet providers are unable to function during a health crisis?

For further information about this committee, please refer to the PHRC Home Page.

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Other University Pandemic Planning Initiatives: