Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
Author: HHS/ASPR Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection and CDC National Center for Environmental Health Published Date: 8/25/2020 5:13:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery; Hospital Preparedness;
From 2009 to 2019, there have been an average of 64,100 wildfires annually, burning an average of 6.8 million acres each year, according to data from the
National Interagency Fire Center. This year, wildfires present a tougher challenge to emergency managers and shelter operators, because shelters need to protect people Read more…
Author: Rachel Kaul, LCSW, CTS, Senior Advisor for Behavioral Health, HHS/ASPR Emergency Management and Medical Operations Published Date: 8/14/2020 9:14:00 AM
Category: Response & Recovery;
When disaster strikes, state, tribal, or territorial authorities can call on responders from the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) to help handle some of the nation’s toughest emergency-related health challenges. NDMS responders are elite medical professionals who work as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other civilian health professionals in communities across the country. Following a disaster or emerg Read more…
Author: Joshua Baltz, son of Jack Baltz, a nurse practitioner with NDMS’ Disaster Medical Assistant Team in Tennessee (DMAT-TN1) Published Date: 8/3/2020 7:33:00 PM
Category: Response & Recovery;
I need to talk about this patriot for a minute. You can't see, but under this mask is my dad. He just returned home after being deployed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) to fight in one of our nation's COVID-19 hotspots, South Texas.
Author: Kimberly Sciarretta, Ph.D., BARDA DRIVe Solving Sepsis Program Manager, and Meghan Pennini, Ph.D., Solving Sepsis Project Officer Published Date: 6/22/2020 3:02:00 PM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Medical Countermeasures; National Health Security; Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery;
In the current pandemic, ICUs worldwide are caring for COVID-19 patients with life-threatening multiple organ dysfunction, in other words, sepsis. This trend provides a stark reminder that sepsis is likely to arise as a secondary confounder of any health security threat, whether in the current coronavirus pandemic or a future public health emergency.
BARDA focuses on developing safe, effective medical countermeasures, such as vaccines, trea Read more…
Author: Laura Kwinn Wolf, Ph.D., Director, Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Published Date: 6/11/2020 8:55:00 AM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery;
As we enter this year’s hurricane season, our nation has been battling a raging storm of a different type for the past five months – Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Healthcare and Public Health (HPH) community has tirelessly worked to provide care, move resources, and identify measures for treatment and prevention. With the first official day of the 2020 Atlantic and Pacific hurricane season on June 1, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicting above-normal storm activity, the HPH community must look at how to prepare for a unique hurricane response seaso Read more…
Author: Kristen P. Finne, Director, HHS emPOWER Program and Senior Program Analyst, Office of Emergency Management and Medical Operations, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 6/4/2020 2:59:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery;
In an emergency response, timing is everything. As hurricane and wildfire season gets underway, think back to the 2017 historic hurricanes and wildfires which presented new challenges not only for the scale but also for the impact to critical infrastructure. To help those on the frontline and some of our country’s most vulnerable citizens, emPOWER had to innovate and offer a tool that could deliver data with minimal actions and in seconds.
Three years ago, responders and volunteers rapidly rostered and deployed to areas on the shores and hills of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin I Read more…
Author: Timothy G. Buchman, MD, and Steven Q. Simpson, MD, BARDA/DRIVe Published Date: 5/15/2020 5:30:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery;
COVID-19 patients who are ill enough to require admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), often suffer from a major organ dysfunction. As a pair of critical care physicians with more than 80 years of combined service at the bedside in the ICU, we have spent our entire professional lives caring for patients with life-threatening organ dysfunction resulting from infections. We recognize this condition; it’s called sepsis.
While the most widely reported organ dysfunction for COVID-19 patients involves the lungs, many of these patients also have some combination of heart Read more…
Author: Esmeralda Pereira, Medical Reserve Corps Program Director Published Date: 4/24/2020 4:33:00 PM
Category: Response & Recovery; Observances;
A volunteer nurse gathers nasal swabs at a drive-through testing site in Bremerton, Washington. A team delivers food to vulnerable community members in Framingham, Massachusetts. A unit in Columbus, Ohio, conducts temperature checks and assists at a shelter for homeless community members who test positive for coronavirus or COVID-19. Volunteers in New Mexico assemble and pack boxes for food banks. In each community, neighbors, coworkers, kids’ schoolteachers, and patients recognize them.
All have one thing in common: They are volunteers with the Read more…
Author: By: Bryan Hanley, DTL, Medical Branch Director, Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT CA-9) deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, National Disaster Medical System, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Published Date: 3/19/2020 7:36:00 PM
Category: Response & Recovery;
At quarantine sites across the country, some passengers from the Grand Princess are missing important milestones as they wait out their quarantine, but responders from the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) are committed to making things a little bit easier for them. Earlier this month, NDMS responders helped a dad who was not able to be physically present virtually walk his daughter down the aisle while he was in quarantine.
Author: Robert Kadlec, MD, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Published Date: 12/19/2019 7:31:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; National Health Security; Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery;
Today, we achieved a historic milestone in global health security with the approval of ERVEBO®, the first vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Administration (FDA) for the prevention of the Ebola virus disease (EVD). A safe and effective vaccine is a vital tool in combatting the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which is the second largest outbreak since the virus was discovered in 1976. Today’s approval by the FDA, which follows last month’s Europ Read more…
Author: Rachel Kaul, LCSW, CTS, Senior Advisor for Behavioral Health, HHS/ASPR Emergency Management and Medical Operations Published Date: 9/13/2019 3:33:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Exercises & Trainings; Response & Recovery;
As any emergency responder knows, EMS providers, healthcare professionals and other emergency responders work in fast-paced, demanding, challenging environments. Although this work can be incredibly rewarding, the accumulation of daily stressors coupled with the intense pressures associated with a disaster – such as taking on unfamiliar duties, witnessing horrific events, comforting traumatized people, working back-to-back shifts, eating poorly, and sleeping rarely – can have serious repe Read more…
Author: Mike Cote, Federal Health Coordinating Official and Regional Administrator Published Date: 8/30/2019 8:01:00 AM
Category: Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness; Hospital Preparedness;
Hurricane Dorian didn’t deliver the damage, destruction, and mass patient caseload to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that many people anticipated the storm would — and that’s a good thing. Nevertheless, Puerto Rico was ready for a hurricane in a way it has never been before thanks to the efforts by HHS’ Division of Recovery team.
Over the past two years, federal and territory government agencies and non-government organizations have worked together to prepare Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands healthcare systems for hurricanes and other natural disasters. These Read more…
Author: Greg Burel, Director, Strategic National Stockpile, and Denise Williams, Technical Writer-Editor, Strategic National Stockpile Published Date: 8/21/2019 10:02:00 AM
Category: Response & Recovery; Medical Countermeasures; Public Health Preparedness;
Twenty years ago, Congress established the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), originally named the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile, with a $51 million appropriation and a handful of staff quietly housed in CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health. Today, the SNS is part of the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and holds a $7 billion inventory as well as vast experience in preparing for and responding to a variety Read more…
Author: ASPR TRACIE Published Date: 8/13/2019 11:09:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery; Hospital Preparedness;
Outpatient care settings - including federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), rural health clinics (RHCs), urgent care centers, home health and hospice agencies, and primary care provider practices - have a wide range of capabilities that could be used to save lives in an emergency, but are they integrated into our nation’s emergency healthcare response system? How can healthcare coalitions better engage outpatient healthcare providers to enhance disaster response?
These are just some of the questions the experts from ASPR’s Technical Resources, Assistance Cen Read more…
Author: By Dr. Robert Kadlec, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Published Date: 6/25/2019 10:54:00 AM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery; National Health Security;
At ASPR, we’re excited about the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019 (PAHPAIA), which the president signed last night. The new law strengthens public health and healthcare readiness, bolsters response and recovery programs, and increases transparency. What do the changes mean for our non-federal partners? We see some key provisions that can significantly improve preparedness and response for our partners.
PAHPAIA authorized a funding increase for the Hospital Pr Read more…
Author: Laura Kwinn Wolf, Ph.D., Director, ASPR Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Michael Eltringham, Stakeholder Engagement Analyst, ASPR Critical Infrastructure Protection Program Contract Support Published Date: 6/13/2019 8:26:00 AM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Exercises & Trainings; Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness;
When Hurricane Maria hit in 2017, one unexpected challenge faced by the Healthcare and Public Health (HPH) Sector was maintaining production of medical gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, and argon on the island of Puerto Rico. The power needs for such an operation exceeded available generators; so, for the duration of electricity outages in the area, novel plans had to be devised for the challenging transport and distribution of products across the island.
Partners from the gas manufacturers, healthcare facilities, and the federal and territorial government closely coordinated Read more…
Author: Sean Andrews, MPH, NRP, Policy Analyst, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Published Date: 5/22/2019 3:04:00 PM
Category: Exercises & Trainings; Response & Recovery;
Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel respond to emergencies every day and serve on the front lines of the medical response to disasters, terrorist attacks, and mass casualty incidents. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is dedicated to supporting EMS personnel in enhancing and protecting the health and well-being of all Americans.
As the HHS lead for coordinating the public health and medical response to disasters and other emergencies, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is dedicated to supporting EMS personnel and agencies Read more…
Author: Robert Kadlec, MD, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Published Date: 3/14/2019 4:13:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery; Innovations;
Blog Series: Battling the Ebola Epidemic
Ebola reemerged as a health threat in 2018, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where two outbreaks of Ebola virus disease have occurred since May 2018. The first of these two outbreaks, in western DRC, was quickly contained. However, the second outbreak, in eastern DRC, has yet to be contained due in large part to the volatile security situa Read more…
Author: Ron Miller, Ph.D., Director, National Disaster Medical System, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Published Date: 2/13/2019 10:35:00 AM
Category: Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness; Exercises & Trainings;
The National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) has a heroic, yet complex, mission to save lives and protect Americans. When disaster strikes, it’s potentially the worst day in the lives of hundreds – if not thousands – of people. Therefore, our mobilization, implementation, and execution need to be streamlined and seamless.
However, we never rest on our laurels. We are constantly training and identifying gaps within the preparedness and response framework to better mobilize when the inevitable ultimately occurs. NDMS has identified three pillars to expand the service’s c Read more…
Author: By Melanie Deal, Health Communications Specialist, HHS Health Resources and Services Administration Published Date: 2/7/2019 8:22:00 AM
Category: Response & Recovery;
Almost a year and a half after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, people across the island are still haunted by the memories of the devastating storm, and communities are still recovering. During a recent deployment to Puerto Rico to support disaster health recovery, I learned that recovery is truly a marathon that can take years. I am dedicated to helping people cope, heal and recover, and I have been honored to work with a great team for the Health and Social Services Recovery Support Function, managed by ASPR.
I Read more…
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