Medical Emergency Distribution Planning

The Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Plan

The Town's Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) - Point of Dispensing (POD) Plan serves to establish the necessary framework for the effective and efficient mass dispensing of pharmaceuticals or vaccines to the general public in the event of a public health emergency. Every municipality in the state is responsible to maintain a MEDS-POD plan that details how and where they will provide emergency medical countermeasures to its residents.


Purpose, Situation Overview, and Assumptions



Purpose



The purpose of this plan is to establish the necessary processes to enact a mass antibiotic or vaccine dispensing campaign within the jurisdiction. In so doing, it outlines not only the responsibilities of the state to provide medical countermeasures and effective public information, but also the municipal capability to provide medical countermeasures to the general public.

Situation Overview



Events leading to the activation of this plan may include both naturally occurring and intentional public health crises that require the distribution of emergency supplies to Rhode Island’s general public. Possible triggers for activation may include (but are not limited to):
• An alert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the State of Rhode Island’s Department of Health (HEALTH), notifying of a potential or actual public health threat, thus requiring the mass prophylaxis of a large target population.
• A determination by HEALTH, through its Division of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology, that a public health emergency has, or may have, occurred, thus requiring the mass prophylaxis of a large target population.
• A terrorist has claimed responsibility for causing a public health emergency. 
 

MEDS POD Staffing



The MEDS POD is staffed, to a large extent, by volunteers.  Although medical professional are needed, there are many POD positions that do not require and special certifications or training.  Although there is periodic MEDS POD training offered, "just in time" training is provided for volunteers when the plan is activated. To learn about being a part of the volunteer effort, contact Rich Talipsky, the Town MEDS Coordinator ( 401-643-0382) rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com