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August 25, 2017 (Cleveland)

Hospital Emergency Preparedness Funding Announced

 Hospital Emergency Preparedness Funding The Center for Health Affairs has been awarded $796,993 in hospital emergency preparedness funding for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. These funds, awarded through the Ohio Department of Health and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services responsible for responding to and preparing for public health emergencies, were announced in July. The award was slightly higher than the previous year’s award, which reverses a long-term trend of decreasing grant amounts. Despite this reversal, federal hospital emergency preparedness grant funding has decreased by more than 50 percent over the last decade and is expected to continue decreasing in the future.

In the 2016-2017 grant period, the ASPR program for hospital preparedness mandated 17 new types of agencies such as free-standing hospital affiliated entities, dialysis centers and behavioral health centers be incorporated into regional disaster planning. In response, The Center’s emergency preparedness experts have worked with their hospital partners in moving the emergency preparedness program beyond the walls of hospitals into the community to include the new agencies. Efforts to allow for greater planning among a variety of agencies will continue in 2017-2018. Funds will also be used to ensure equipment is maintained and hospital and healthcare staff are trained and prepared to respond in the event of a disaster.

“The ASPR grant will allow us to provide each of our member hospitals between $8,000 and $25,000 to help prepare their facilities for emergencies such as chemical spills, power outages, mass casualties, information system failures and terrorist events,” said Beth Gatlin, RN, MA-HSM, ASPR project director, The Center for Health Affairs. “The majority of hospital emergency preparedness funding received through ASPR will flow directly to member hospitals as opposed to being retained by the state department of health.”

If you have comments, questions or concerns about hospital emergency preparedness funding in Northeast Ohio, please contact Beth Gatlin via email or at 216.255.3665, or Andrea Bishop, BSN, emergency preparedness project manager, via email or at 216.255.3662.