Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
The Southeast Pennsylvania Health Care Coalition, a coalition of health care facilities formed as a result of HPP’s efforts in the region, held two meetings with all of the region’s hospital CEOs and preparedness staff concerning papal activities. The HCC discussed responsibilities and resources at the city, state, and federal level, ensuring all hospitals were informed, prepared, and aligned. Mark Ross, the Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Manager for Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania and emergency coordinator during the papal visit, lauded the regional preparedness planning that HPP funded. “HPP’s regional funding allowed for 17 transplants from across the New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania area to occur even during a high profile event such as the papal visit. Regional coordination, communication, and planning allowed us to conduct life-saving efforts across state lines without any interruption.”
In addition to bringing together the medical community to prepare for any disruption or large scale event, the HCC participated in the U.S. Secret Service’s planning committee for health and medical issues. The HCC leader, along with several other members, serve on the committee and help share critical information and align response efforts between disparate, but important groups.
“The planning and execution for the papal visit by our staff and volunteers at a local, regional, and state level allowed us to ensure the safety of residents throughout Philadelphia,” said Martin Raniowski, Deputy Secretary for Health Planning and Assessment for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. “The planning for the pope’s visit highlighted the importance of taking a regional focus on preparedness. HPP’s funding and guidance helped with both planning and training, ensuring that our team’s efforts to maintain a healthy environment for Philadelphians and visitors to our state during the entire weekend of the pope’s visit were successful.”
Overall, the Southeast Pennsylvania HCC planned and prepared for an emergency well in advance of the pope’s visit. Hospital facilities, the Secret Service and nearby states all coordinated to ensure that the health care system was trained, coordinated and prepared for an event, ensuring the people that came to Philadelphia visited a truly prepared community.
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