Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
A strong day-to-day healthcare system can serve as the foundation for the health care infrastructure to respond readily to a disaster or public health emergency. DHSP engages in initiatives to ensure that the healthcare system is prepared to respond to both day-to-day demands, as well as those the system may face during disasters and public health emergencies.
The recent U.S. Ebola experience identified opportunities to improve the transport of patients with suspected and confirmed infections. Accordingly, the Enhancing the Ability of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to Transfer Patients with Confirmed or Suspected High Consequence Infectious Diseases cooperative agreement with the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) seeks to enhance the ability of local healthcare facilities and State entities to be able to safely transfer patients with confirmed or suspected high consequence infectious diseases between facilities.
As the recent Ebola incident highlighted, it is unclear if there is adequate capacity, capabilities, and geographic distribution of resources to manage various infectious disease scenarios that may involve a large volume or novel cases. Accordingly, this project seeks to determine whether additional steps are necessary to ensure that U.S. citizens with infectious diseases, especially high consequence infectious diseases, have access to safe and appropriate care.
Following disasters like Hurricane Sandy, communities face many questions about how to best recover and rebuild. In many cases, there is not a strong evidence-base for them to draw upon. The goal of Science Preparedness is to provide a framework for conducting scientific research before, during, and after a disaster to better understand how to build more resilient communities and improve our preparedness, response, and recovery efforts.
The Hurricane Sandy Research Grants had two goals; 1) to allow researchers to efficiently access linked federal data sources in order to study the health impact of a large scale environmental disaster, and 2) to demonstrate the ability of the USG to facilitate the efficient use of federal for the purposes of timely, health-related disaster research.
This research builds a much-needed evidence base to support the difficult decisions communities make about recovery and future preparedness. While work is continuing on the 13 additional awards, the completed projects have contributed to our knowledge of disaster recovery, provided valuable tools and resources, and have demonstrated that research should be an intrinsic component in each disaster recovery effort.
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