Hhs Awards $498 Million To Improve Hospitals’ Response To Bioterror And Other Disasters
Awards of $498 million from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to states, territories and four major metropolitan areas will strengthen the ability of hospitals and other health care facilities to respond to bioterror attacks, infectious diseases, and natural disasters that may cause mass casualties.
Health departments in the states, territories and metro areas (New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles County and Washington, D.C.) receiving the federal funds will use them to improve the readiness of hospitals and other health care entities in their jurisdictions in dealing with large numbers of casualties.
Recipients also will use the funds to increase coordination on disease reporting among hospitals and local and state health departments, enhance such coordination between public health laboratories and hospital-based laboratories, and harmonize the communications capabilities of these entities.
Other uses for program funds include providing behavioral health services and trauma and burn care and buying communications equipment and personal protective gear.
This is the third consecutive year that HRSA has provided funding to increase hospital preparedness, totaling more than $1.5 billion. In addition, HHS’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will soon announce its latest round of grants, estimated to be at least $844 million, bringing the total HHS investment to aiding state preparedness to more than $3.7 billion since Sept. 11, 2001.
“Hospitals will use the funds they receive from states to effect a rapid temporary expansion of bed capacity to accommodate mass casualties, increase isolation and decontamination capacity, identify qualified volunteer healthcare workers to augment hospital staff to deal with mass casualties, and plan for hospital-based and community ready pharmaceutical caches,” noted Elizabeth M. Duke, Ph.D., administrator of HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration, which oversees the program.
FY 2004 awards from the Hospital Preparedness Program, created after the terrorist attacks of Sept.11, 2001, are contained in the following table: FY 2004 hospital preparedness program funds to states, selected cities and territories are:
Los Angeles County 15,583,364
District of Columbia 2,868,302
New Hampshire 2,905,650
New Jersey 13,878,940 v New Mexico 3,770,553
New York 18,019,873
New York City 12,858,383
North Carolina 13,417,400
North Dakota 1,963,221
Rhode Island 2,603,466
South Carolina 7,146,769
South Dakota 2,147,489
West Virginia 3,725,218
American Samoa 601,511
Puerto Rico 6,808,171
Northern Marianas Islands 612,902
Virgin Islands (U.S.) 684,929
Freely Associated States:
Federated States of Micronesia 703,671
Marshall Islands 581,705