A CDP alumnus is crediting training she received in the Center’s 32-hour Managing Public Information for All Hazards Incidents (MPI) Course earlier this year for improved communication with those she serves, particularly during the current flu season. 

Janelle Ringer, a senior public relations specialist at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Southern California, says the training she received in the MPI Course has helped her better communicate the symptoms and dangers of influenza, as well as what those served by the hospital should expect if they contract the flu and travel to the facility for treatment.

“I’ve been using both the skills and resources provided to me (at the training),” said Ringer.  

“The way I’ve communicated with the public … and used media partners has certainly improved,” she added.

The MPI Course teaches responders from multiple disciplines what information needs to be communicated to the public during or following an event, effective means to communicate that information to the public, and ways to enhance relationships with the media.

For Ringer, the training could not have come at a better time. 

In addition to seeing a spike in influenza cases in recent weeks, the county where her medical center is located had its first reported flu-related death of the season. A 65-year-old man who had underlying health conditions died of complications related to influenza.

Additionally, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says “the immediate risk to the public is low at this time,” it expects to see the number of Americans infected with the Coronavirus to climb.  As of January 30, five confirmed cases had been reported in the U.S. (two in California, one in Arizona, one in Washington, and one in Illinois).