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Vulnerable Populations Initiative  

Vulnerable Populations Initiative or VPI will assure access to public health preparedness, response and recovery information and services for the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach residents in Buncombe County through three programs or initiatives: 

The Vulnerable Populations Initiative Action Team

Ongoing advisory group for Vulnerable Populations Initiative

The team includes representatives from agencies and businesses serving the vulnerable populations of Buncombe County including medical treatment facilities, home health agencies, public health, emergency management, community based organizations, faith based organizations, schools, and public safety.  The initiative is coordinated by the Buncombe County Department of Health Preparedness Division.

Working in partnership, the Buncombe County Vulnerable Populations Initiative (VPI) has 3 primary goals:

  1. to help ensure that no one population in our county is affected more than another during an emergency;
  2. to improve crisis communication to specific vulnerable populations that are not easily reached through traditional means; and
  3. to improve efficiency by eliminating duplication of efforts and improve information and resource sharing about community crisis preparation.

The Push Partner Program

Registry of organizations and businesses in Buncombe County who are a part of the Buncombe County Strategic National Stockpile plan

The intent of this registry is to create a comprehensive database of Buncombe County private partners and community based organizations serving vulnerable populations that are willing to serve as a PRIVATE Point of Dispensing for medicines needed in a large scale health emergency. This program will assist businesses in maintaining their continuity of operations during this type of public health event through the rapid deployment of medications to their staff, clients and family members. This program is Buncombe County’s plan for distributing public health medications to essential county services such as utility providers, medical care providers, public safety, transportation, and government as well as essential businesses and community based organizations.

Community Information Outreach Network (COIN)

The goal of the COIN is to ensure that in the event of a public health emergency, communication channels are in place and that the COIN members are able to notify individuals within their appropriate communication channels.

Buncombe County’s Community Outreach Information Network (COIN) reaches out to individuals who may not or cannot access information from traditional sources. The Community Communication Network is a partnership of Public Health, community-based and faith based organizations and community leaders to share essential health-related information in an emergency to hard-to-reach, vulnerable residents.  Public Health recognizes that without the information and assistance of community-based agencies serving vulnerable individuals and communities, notification efforts will not be successful.