Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
Disasters can strike anywhere and at any time. Mass shootings, mass transit accidents, terrorist attacks and earthquakes typically don’t come with advance warning. Even disasters that we are better able to predict – like hurricanes, floods, or wildfires - can overwhelm healthcare facilities and their workers, risking lives and costing billions of dollars in physical damages and other healthcare-related costs.
As part of its efforts to promote coordinated patient care, ASPR issued a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) inviting applicants to develop demonstration projects that address healthcare preparedness challenges, establish best practices for improving disaster readiness across the healthcare delivery system, and show the potential effectiveness and viability of a Regional Disaster Health Response System (RDHRS). On September 27, 2018, the ASPR awarded two $3 million grants under this FOA. Nebraska Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, and Massachusetts General Hospital (link to related page) in Boston, Massachusetts, received grants from ASPR’s Hospital Preparedness Program to conduct pilot projects that show the potential effectiveness and viability of a Regional Disaster Health Response System.
The RDHRS is one of ASPR’s four main priorities. The proposed RDHRS would be built on a tiered regional framework that emphasizes the collaboration among local healthcare coalitions, trauma centers, public and private healthcare facilities, and emergency medical services to expand access to specialty care expertise and increase medical surge capacity. The goals of the RDHRS are to better coordinate across local, state, regional, and federal healthcare response assets; improve bidirectional communication and situational awareness of the medical needs and issues in response; identify and further develop the highly specialized clinical capabilities critical to unusual hazards or catastrophic events; and increase healthcare sector participation in preparedness efforts.
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Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), 200 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20201
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