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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Category: Response & Recovery

Working Day or Night, NDMS Teams Deploy to Support Healthcare Facilities and Save Lives in Communities Overwhelmed by COVID-19: “We are NDMS…That’s What We do”

Author: William Drake, Pharm D., NDMS Group Supervisor, Memphis, TN
Published Date: 10/7/2021 5:44:00 PM
Category: National Disaster Medical System; Response & Recovery; Hospital Preparedness;

On September 24, 2021, at the request of the state of Tennessee, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services deployed a team of 15 healthcare professionals, including safety and administrative support officers, from the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis in Memphis, TN. The team’s mission: to augment the hospital’s emergency department and provide much needed support to local staff.

On the third day of their deployment, NDMS team members arrived for their shift and were met with a line of 20 ambulances from the street entran  Read more…

Never Forget: Strategic National Stockpile Experts Remember September 11

Author: Strategic National Stockpile, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 9/11/2021 7:46:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery;

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, a small group of federal public health staff activated its emergency plan as part of the U.S. government’s immediate response to the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil. Established in 1999, the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile (NPS) was in its infancy when the events of 9/11 unfolded and was quietly housed in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health. It was not until 2003 that the NPS would become the Strategic Nati  Read more…

The U.S. is On Track to Donate More Than One Billion Doses of COVID-19 Vaccines around the World

Author: ASPR Comms
Published Date: 8/8/2021 4:30:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Hospital Preparedness; Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness;

A look behind the scenes with ASPR staff coordinating efforts

More than 70% of adults in the United States have received at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine, and BARDA has purchased enough doses of COVID-19 vaccines to cover everyone in the United States. At the same time, federal health officials recognize that the pandemic is a global struggle and the SARS-CoV-2 virus doesn’t stop at any of our national borders.

To stop the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. and decrease the chances  Read more…

Fostering Psychological Resilience

Author: Dana Dudley, MSW and Kayla Siviy, MSW, ASPR Division of Community Mitigation and Recovery.
Published Date: 7/29/2021 10:48:00 AM
Category: Response & Recovery;

Innovative Strategies and Best Practices from the Medical Reserve Corps

Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) units have faced challenging situations and many dedicated volunteers have performed extraordinary work as they partner with their local communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The MRC is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many MRC units have been faced with, and worked t  Read more…

New Tool to Help Hospitals and Health Care Facilities Decrease COVID-19 related Hospitalizations

Author: Dr. John Redd – Chief Medical Officer, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 7/6/2021 1:34:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Innovations; Hospital Preparedness; Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness;

This week, we announced a new tool that can help hospitals, health care facilities, and other potential infusion sites make smart choices to better manage and reduce COVID-19 related patient surge: the COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutics Calculator (mAbs Calculator).

The Value of mAb Therapeutics to Patients and Providers

In some parts of the country, where COVID-19 cases are high and vaccination rates are low, many hospitals continue to face patient surge. Other areas are facing new surges in patients as the Delta variant of the virus spreads in their  Read more…

Apply Today! Become a Part of a New Federal Advisory Committee Focused on Protecting the Health of Seniors in Disasters

Author: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 7/1/2021 3:49:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery; National Health Security;

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by the year 2035 there will be more Americans who are 65 and older than there will be children under the age of 18. As the number of older adults across the country grows, planning to meet the needs of older adults during disasters and emergencies effectively becomes more important than ever. Emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted how older adults can be particularly vulnerable during a disaster or emergency.

Now, the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response is recruiting new members for a natio  Read more…

Is Your Healthcare Facility Hurricane Ready?

Author: Laura Kwinn Wolf, Ph.D. Director, Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Rachel Lehman, Program Analyst, Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection
Published Date: 6/4/2021 10:59:00 AM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness; Medical Countermeasures;

Eight tips to help your healthcare facility avoid supply chain shortages and infrastructure disruptions during hurricane season

The Healthcare and Public Health (HPH) community has tirelessly worked to address supply chain challenges presented over the last sixteen months. Healthcare facilities have had to manage supply chains stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic, worker scarcity, backed-up ports, and the 2021 Texas freeze. The next supply chain challenge facing the HPH community is likely to be the 2021 hurricane season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminis  Read more…

Thank You for Your Public Service

Author: Nikki Bratcher-Bowman
Published Date: 5/6/2021 10:28:00 AM
Category: National Health Security; Observances; Response & Recovery;

Acting Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Nikki Bratcher-Bowman Reflects on the Past Year during Public Service Recognition Week

For over a year, public servants from ASPR and across the government have worked tirelessly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, even as we continue to prepare for, respond to, and recover from other disasters and emergencies. Each and every day, I am honored to work with staff from ASPR and other public servants from across the government as we continue to develop medical countermeasures to address health security t  Read more…

U.S. Federal Responders Vaccinate Some 5600 People in the Republic of Palau to Combat COVID-19

Author: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 5/3/2021 4:03:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness;

Innovation challenge seeks to solve a common hurdle in curbing coronavirus spread: mask design

Author: Sandeep Patel, Ph.D., Director, BARDA Division of Research, Innovations and Ventures, Kumiko Lippold, Ph.D., M.P.H., Health Scientist, BARDA Division of Research, Innovations and Ventures
Published Date: 4/8/2021 12:32:00 PM
Category: Innovations; Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness;

The creative talent of inventors and entrepreneurs across the entire country is the heartbeat of our economy and our nation’s well-being. At BARDA, we’d like to tap this energy to solve a critical challenge for our country: the design of comfortable, protective facemasks for the general public. Scientific evidence shows that masks can be useful in curbing the spread of respiratory infections, yet we know that actual use is not up to the same standard as intended use. Research shows the most common reasons people don’t wear masks or don’t wear them properly: fit, comfort – i  Read more…

Innovators: How Diversifying Your Network Can Help Ignite Ideas

Author: Christopher Houchens, Ph.D., Director, Division of CBRN Medical Countermeasures, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Marian Nakada, Ph.D., Vice President, Venture Investments, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc.
Published Date: 3/17/2021 1:24:00 PM
Category: Innovations; Response & Recovery;

Launching an innovative product or technology takes more than a good idea, and there are many actions startups can take to strengthen their offering and overall chance of success as they develop the latest innovations to bolster health security, including battling COVID-19. Over the last year, the global scientific community has proven critical to our collective ability to combat the pandemic, and Blue Knight™ offers a new way to build the kinds of partnerships needed to advance potentially life-saving technology during public health emergencies.

Blue KnightRead more…

Logistically Supporting the COVID Response Daily, One Responder’s Reflections on COVID-19 over the Course of the Pandemic

Author: Peter Cassell, ASPR Comms
Published Date: 3/16/2021 5:59:00 PM
Category: National Disaster Medical System; Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness;

Speeding Recovery, Restoring Joy for a High-Risk COVID-19 Patient

Author: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 2/19/2021 6:44:00 PM
Category: Response & Recovery; Medical Countermeasures; National Disaster Medical System;

Joyce Sonday of Tucson, Arizona, loved walking her property and the neighborhood regularly, visiting with family and cooking for her husband, but all of that changed when she contracted COVID-19. She became exhausted and lost her taste and sense of smell. She wasn’t sure what was wrong but her husband experienced the same symptoms. At first she thought they had sinus infections but decided to go to their local clinic where she and her husband tested positive for COVID-19.

On the Scene, Saving Lives

Author: Jonathan N. Greene, Deputy Assistant Secretary, HHS/ASPR Office of Operations and Resources
Published Date: 2/11/2021 11:23:00 AM
Category: National Disaster Medical System; Response & Recovery;

​Responders from the National Disaster Medical System Answer the Call to Service during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

The dedicated individuals of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) - known for their expertise, their teamwork, and their selfless commitment to saving lives during disasters and emergencies - have worked tirelessly on the front lines of health to fight COVID-19. More than 2,500 NDMS responders have deployed since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 and continue to deploy to support federal, state, local  Read more…

Community-Based Organizations Are More Important Than Ever During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author: Cheryl Levine, ASPR/EMMO
Published Date: 12/28/2020 11:23:00 AM
Category: Response & Recovery; Innovations;

Four New Tools for the Community-Based Organization's Toolkit

How Community-Based Organizations Can Leverage Innovative Practices, Build New Partnerships, and More for At-Risk Individuals During the COVID-19 Pandemic

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Hellen Keller

If you work for a community-based organization (CBO  Read more…

The HHS emPOWER Program Launches a New Platform to Support Community Partners

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: 12/10/2020 10:37:00 AM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery;

New HHS emPOWER Program Platform Brings Tools and Resources to the Fingertips of Community Partners to Help Protect At-Risk Individuals

HHS emPOWER Program (emPOWER) has officially launched the HHS emPOWER Program Platform, a new mobile-ready technical assistance platform that provides public health, health care, and emergency manage  Read more…

NDMS Trauma and Critical Care Team Supported Medical Professionals with Intubated COVID-19 Patients

Author: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 11/17/2020 2:03:00 PM
Category: Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness; National Health Security; National Disaster Medical System;

HHS Supported Response to the Novel Coronavirus in El Paso, Continues Support Nationwide

As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 100 experts from across the country deployed recently as part of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) to provide temporary medical surge support to three hospitals in El Paso, Texas. Although this mission has ended, NDMS responders continue to provide important services in other communities across the country.

Beyon  Read more…

HHS Provides Guidance to Help Persons with Disabilities Return to the Community after a COVID-19 Diagnosis

Author: Cheryl Levine, PhD, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and Emmy Nye Program Specialist, Office of Behavioral Health, Disability, and Aging Policy, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evlaulation (ASPE)
Published Date: 10/30/2020 3:13:00 PM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery;

Care-coordination activities are especially important to reconnect persons with disabilities to their communities when they are discharged after a COVID-19 related hospitalization, isolation, or quarantine. Ensuring that persons with disabilities have meaningful access to community life requires nurses, medical social workers, case managers, and other discharge professionals to overcome additional obstacles presented by the public health emergency including limited staff, support services, and the changing needs of persons with disabilities who are recovering from COVID-19.

  Read more…

More than 50 Million BARDA-Supported COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests Shipped to Communities across the U.S.

Author: Rodney Wallace, BARDA, Detection, Diagnostics, & Devices Infrastructure (DDDI) Division Director
Published Date: 10/23/2020 10:13:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery;

BARDA’s Public-Private Partnerships Support a Range of Tests from Future At-Home Kits to Major Lab Systems

As the coronavirus pandemic continues around the world, the need for rapid, accurate testing remains critical. Testing leads to the identification of active cases, helps spur more rapid treatment of people who are infected, and allows you and your doctor to take immediate action, such as isolating people who are ill.

COVID-19 is highly contagious, and the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, can be transmitted by people who do not show any symptoms  Read more…

Keeping First Responders Healthy as They Protect Communities from Wildfires

Author: HHS/ASPR Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection
Published Date: 9/23/2020 4:43:00 PM
Category: Response & Recovery;

Five Ways to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 during Wildfire Response Operations

An already active wildfire season in the American west was put into overdrive when wildfires spread across large parts of Oregon. This spread caused a significant change in the air quality index (AQI)—in some cases climbing above a 300 AQI value which can cause health problems within communities.

To combat the rapid spread of these dangerous fires, thousands of wildland firefighters and first responders from across the United States have leapt into action to protect communities and  Read more…

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