What is POD?
POD is the acronym for Point of Dispensing. It is the collaboration of the South Dakota Department of Health and Department of Emergency Management. This specific group is organized to take care of the general public in a large scale health emergency, like an epidemic virus or disease. The purpose is to serve two counties, Clay and Union, but we would treat any citizen who arrived. It is assumed that people who live in more urban areas may seek rural PODs for their medications. The goal of the Clay-Union POD is to treat 20,000 citizens within 48 hours of the POD being notified of need. Our primary site of dispensing the medication or vaccination is currently the Coyote Sports Arena. The Vermillion High School can be used as a secondary site if needed.
Since being formed, the POD has been used only once, in 2009 for the H1N1 vaccinations. For that event, the secondary site at the Vermillion High School was opened. We exercise the POD, running table top and full scale exercises to keep the overall plan up to date. In 2016 we ran an exercise using the Strategic National Stockpile. The federal government delivered simulated medications to the state, which were delivered to Vermillion, the POD opened and dispensed the simulates to the public. The POD is currently working on creating a Mini-POD in Elk Point, this could help alleviate some of the crowds and congestion at the main POD.
We need members in our Health Alert Network, so that the POD can set up and run for 48 hours. Typically these people are in some function of health and safety in our counties or employed by USD but the public is also invited to take part. Credentialing is done through the SERV SD registry, on the South Dakota Department of Health website: www.doh.sd.gov; found at the bottom of the page. The POD is always looking for people willing and able to be part of our group.
Alicia Paulson, Clay Union POD Coordinator
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