Serving Northeast Ohio Hospitals for 100+ Years
Home > Media Center > News > > > Emergency Preparedness Work

News Releases

Back to all News Releases

June 07, 2019 (Cleveland)

Congress Reauthorizes Funding for Emergency Preparedness Work



  U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Fund Emergency Preparedness ActivitiesThe Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), the initiative through which the federal government funds regional emergency preparedness work by health systems across the country, was reauthorized for continued funding this month by Congress. The reauthorization had been overdue, with funding set to expire this year, but S. 1379 will extend financial support for the program through federal fiscal year 2023 at the level of $385 million per year.

The HPP is run through a competitive grant process that requires an annual application submission at the regional level. The Center was informed last month that its funding bid was successful and the region will be receiving $750,068 for fiscal year 2020. These funds support a wide array of emergency preparedness activities, including the annual Northeast Ohio Healthcare Coalition Conference, the most recent of which was held Friday, June 7.

The conference provides an opportunity for organizations across the region that work collaboratively on response planning to come together to gain insights from experts on how best to prepare for emergency events. This year’s conference was attended by nearly 100 representatives from hospitals, other nonhospital healthcare care facilities, emergency medical services (EMS), emergency management agencies (EMA), and public health partners from Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties.

This year’s speakers included:

  • Joan Fox, a customer service and leadership expert.
  • Richard Smith, crisis intervention training coordinator for Mentor Police Department, who discussed verbal techniques to de-escalate situations with people during a crisis.
  • Joe Stack, who spoke about the readiness of Ohio’s emergency departments to care for pediatric patients in emergency events.

Particularly notable were a presentation and panel discussion on Legionnaire’s disease. Janet Stout, Ph.D., presented a brief history of the illness. She also provided educational resources for anyone who has been affected by it as well as for facilities to utilize in developing plans and procedures to prevent and manage the disease. Following Dr. Stout’s presentation, there was a moderated panel discussion that included facilities engineers and operations staff from two local hospital systems, environmental staff from a local health department, and an infection control practitioner, along with Dr. Stout. This topic was especially timely, as there were 16 patients reported to have been diagnosed with Legionella at Mount Carmel Grove City Hospital in Columbus on May 31, which resulted in the death of one patient.

MORE: For more on The Center’s emergency preparedness work, contact us.

TWEETABLE: Congress has passed legislation that will fund national hospital emergency preparedness work through 2023.