Phil Alexakos, Chief Of Environmental Health And Emergency Preparedness
For today’s interview I return to the Manchester Health Department to talk with Phil Alexakos, the Chief of Environmental Health and Emergency Preparedness Division, about how he and his department plan and prepare for public health crises. As we remembered the 14th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11th, 2001 just a few days ago, Phil’s division’s focus has expanded from naturally occurring public health threats like pandemic flu to responding to bioterrorism. The interview is fascinating because Phil and his colleagues focus on developing capabilities to respond to a wide array of unknown and unknowable events by finding ways to repurpose existing infrastructure in diverse ways. The podcast concludes with how government organizations like the Health Department cannot do this mission alone – they need the help of an army of volunteers. While Phil talks about some of the volunteer programs specific to New Hampshire, listeners should consider what opportunities they have to help make their communities more robust.