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January 25, 2018 (Cleveland)

Gatlin Weighs in on Preparedness for Flu Outbreak

On Thursday, Jan. 25, ABC News 5 interviewed The Center for Health Affairs' ASPR Project Director Beth Gatlin, RN, MA-HSM, for a story on the busy flu season and the nation's preparedness to handle a major flu outbreak:

"The hospitals are full. There is flu everywhere," said Gatlin.

She says the spike in illness is putting a strain on hospitals.

"It's a difficult road for them," Gatlin said.

Her job is to make sure hospitals are ready to respond to any type of turmoil, whether they're natural or manmade disasters.

"Preparedness is 'what if?' We need to prepare, we need to plan," said Gatlin.

Of course, that takes money.

"Preparedness funding has actually decreased about 50 percent for hospitals over the last seven or eight years," said Gatlin.

That's making it more challenging to respond to a full-scale emergency or a major flu outbreak.

"With that decrease in funding, it's really tight to maintain the equipment they purchased," said Gatlin.

Click below our visit ABC New 5's website to watch the full piece on the flu season and nation's preparedness for a major flu outbreak. Contact us to learn more.