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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

National Disaster Pediatric Initiative

Children represent 25 percent of the U.S. population and face specialized medical issues due to their unique developmental and physiologic characteristics. Particularly challenging is the management of children’s exposure to infectious diseases, trauma, and other hazards. Pediatric care requires specialized equipment, supplies, and pharmaceuticals. While pediatric hospitals and community providers deliver excellent care for children on a day-to-day basis, a system is needed to manage the overwhelming and unique medical needs of children after disasters that goes beyond the highly capable system of care available on a daily basis.

ASPR will issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) in the coming months to address the first phase of the National Disaster Pediatric Initiative (NDPI) with a pilot project for two Pediatric Disaster Care Centers of Excellence. The two centers will allow for strategically and geographically placed facilities to ensure the most vulnerable population receives consistent and reliable care during times of disasters and other emergencies. The goal is to ensure that all children receive the best possible care during disasters.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is seeking input from a wide variety of stakeholders to develop the framework for a new initiative that will increase capability to provide a consistently high level of pediatric specialty care wherever disaster strikes.

The initiative will be a part of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), and complementary to the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) and the Regional Disaster Health Response System (RDHRS). Ensuring the provision of disaster medical care for all populations by collaborating across state lines sets a progressive new precedent for regional health care preparedness.

Therefore, we are seeking general concepts and specific ideas from those in the health care and, more specifically, the pediatric care community about a vision for an archetype of a more comprehensive, enhanced, national capability for pediatric care during disasters. Ideas should not only be limited to augmentation of current systems, but can also include ideal and novel approaches that comprehensively address pediatric disaster care. Please provide your vision of a framework for this initiative to ASPR in two pages or less no later than Friday, April 26, 2019. Submissions should include:

  • Proposed development of a pediatric subject matter expert panel that could assist with the development of specialty care treatment protocols, training curriculum and platforms for the care of pediatric patients with focus on management of pediatric patients exposed to infectious diseases, trauma, and other hazards,

  • Considerations of the use of telemedicine to support deployment team(s) in providing onsite care, and

  • Specialty equipment necessary to meet the unique health care needs of saving the lives of pediatric patients in disasters.

Please send your input to with the subject line: NDMS NDPI - ‘Your Agency Title’.

For more information, please review the National Disaster Pediatric Initiative FAQs.

  • This page last reviewed: April 05, 2019