December 3 – 9, 2018

Click the read more button to find out this week’s information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (ASPR TRACIE), Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA), Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), and other miscellaneous sources.




1. Next Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition Monthly Meeting

The next regional coalition meeting is Thursday January 10th at 10:30 am and this is our quarterly in-person meeting.
We will meet at Harrisonburg Rescue Squad, 1700 Reservoir St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

Our normal meeting location, the Rockingham County Fire and Rescue Training rooms, is no longer available because the rooms are being converted to office space. 

2. Basic Disaster Life Support (BDLS) Training

The Northwest Region will host the Basic Disaster Life Support training December 7, 2018 at the Harrisonburg Rescue Squad, 1700 Reservoir Street. The flyer is available and registration information is available. Please contact Matt Cronin, Exercise and Training Specialist to receive the flyer and registration details. This course is provided free of charge to the Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition which includes hospitals, healthcare, public health, fire and rescue, and law enforcement.

The flyer with registration information can be found hereWe have 13 people registered so, we still have 17 seats available.


Wow! Our website has reached over 1,700 viewers. Let’s keep it going by informing anyone who has an interest in the Regional Coalition and the information we provide.

To access our website click here. Don’t forget to visit the Events calendar as we add several training events without announcing them in the weekly updates.

We have developed a one page understanding of the regional coalition that can be shared between coalition partners. To view the regional “one-pager” please click here.

 Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association

Virginia Department of Health

2019 Public Health and Healthcare Preparedness Academy

The 2019 Public Health and Healthcare Preparedness Academy will be held on March 19-21,2019 at the Founders Inn in Virginia Beach. The theme this year for the Academy is Responding to 21st Century Emerging Threats.

The Northwest Region will reimburse attendees who are employed by the partners located within the region. For additional information, please contact Matt Cronin, Exercise and Training Specialist, Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition.

The Founders Inn has started accepting reservations for rooms. The link to book a room can be found hereYou may also call 757-366-5700 to book reservations under this group. The Founders Inn and Spa is officially a Hilton Hotel! Our new name is The Founders Inn and Spa, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. If you are Hilton Honors members you can use your  Hilton Honors Points to stay at the hotel. If you are not a member, you  can join here.
Group Name: Virginia Public Health and Healthcare Preparedness Academy
Arrival Date: 18-Mar-2019
Departure Date: 22-Mar-2019
Group code:  VPH

Examples of 21st Century Threats Include:

  • Hurricanes
  • Wildfires
  • Environmental impacts of fracked gas pipelines
  • Civil unrest/terrorism
  • Gun violence
  • Opioid epidemic
  • Emerging biological threats
  • Cybersecurity threats
  • Increasing stress on the social determinants of health (economic insecurity, etc)

 Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response


Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Technical Resource,                                                                                                                             Assistance Center, and Information Exchange

Hospital Preparedness Program




Resources from the Field

In the article, CMS Begins Enforcement of New Rule to Bolster Emergency Preparedness, the author provides an overview of recent disasters and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Emergency Preparedness Rule. The rest of the article highlights lessons learned and emphasizes the importance of health care facility emergency food planning (e.g., storage and documenting inventory) and having Memoranda of Understanding specific to the delivery of food, water, and supplies.

The Sheltering in Danger report (2018) from the US Senate details findings from an investigation into the negative effects of the 2017 hurricane season on nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Part VI lists specific recommendations these types of facilities can take into consideration to improve emergency preparedness.

Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Credit: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services


         U.S. Department of Homeland Security 

Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA Releases 2018 National Preparedness Report

FEMA released the 2018 National Preparedness Report. In its seventh year, this report summarizes the nation’s progress toward becoming a more secure and resilient nation.

The report highlights lessons learned from previous responses, along with findings from preparedness activities. The events and activities captured in the report allow responders and emergency managers throughout the nation to better understand capabilities, identify shortfalls, and build capacity in preparation for future large-scale and catastrophic incidents.

The 2018 National Preparedness Report also identifies gains made in preparedness across the nation and identifies where challenges remain. These findings provide insights into preparedness and informs decisions about future program priorities, resource allocations, and community actions.

The 2018 Report considers select 2017 real-world incidents that tested the nation’s capabilities, preparedness trends from state, tribal and territory perspectives, and an overview of activities and investments to build and sustain capabilities. As a result, it provides in-depth evaluation of five core capabilities identified in previous reports as facing persistent preparedness challenges— Infrastructure Systems, Housing, Economic Recovery, Cybersecurity, and Operational Coordination.

Virginia Department of Emergency Management

1. ICS 300 Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents

Dates:             January 9-10, 2019
Time:             8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Location:       Madison Fire Station, 1223 North Main ST, Madison, VA 22727

Description: This 18-hour classroom course is designed for front-line personnel with supervisory responsibilities to serve in a command or general staff position. The three-day curriculum includes instruction in general principles associated with incident command, along with various tabletop exercises that allow students to put this knowledge to practical use.

Prerequisites: Applicants must document completion of all of the following prerequisites to be considered for enrollment. Successful completion of accredited versions of: (Required) IS 100 and IS 200 – (recommended) IS 700 and IS 800.

Please email certificates to:

Tamara Del Rosario
Academic Support Technician
Phone: 804-897-9676

Registration:  Registration is OPEN and will remain open until January 4, 2019.  To register, log-in to the Commonwealth of Virginia Learn Center: When searching for this course in the VLC, use this keyword:  ICS 300.  Be sure to select the ICS 300 (11) option from the list.  If you need assistance, please contact the Help Desk at 804-897-9995.

2. L0101 Foundations of Emergency Management

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming L0101 Foundations of Emergency Management course. This two-week course is the first of five in the EM Basic Academy program. This course is highly recommended for new as well as experienced members of the emergency management community as it provides a comprehensive view of the profession’s core functions, policies, and goals. To this end, this course is required for all VDEM staff. Click here for more information and the application packet. 

Dates: Week 1: February 4-8, 2019

Location: McConnell Public Safety and Transportation Operations Center, 4890 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA  22030

Dates: Week 2: March 4-8, 2019

Location: Virginia Department of Emergency Management, 10501 Trade Court, N. Chesterfield, VA 23236

Please submit your completed application by November 16th.  If you have questions, please contact Candice Crockett.

Candice Crockett
Interim Academic Support Coordinator
Training, Education and Exercise Division
Virginia Department of Emergency Management
10501 Trade Court
Richmond, VA 23236
(804) 897-9780 office
(804) 385-7487 cell

1. Memorandum of Understanding

We are pleased to announce that the Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition has begun receiving requests to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the coalition and non-hospital facilities. The MOU is designed for healthcare facilities that are not classified as an Acute Care or Critical Access hospital, and it is good for five (5) years before it will need to be renewed. If your your organizations resides with the Northwest Region and has not signed the MOU, you can contact either the Regional Coordinator or the Medically Vulnerable Populations Coordinator to find out more details.

We are expanding our outreach to healthcare agencies within the region as a way of offering assistance to you and your organization. We ask for everyone’s help to spread the word by talking with your colleagues about the Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition. You can contact us by clicking the Contact Us tab on our website.

2. California fire: If you stay, you’re dead. How a Paradise nursing home evacuated

How do you evacuate a nursing home when the deadliest wildfire in California history is bearing down and there are 91 men and women to move to safety — patients in need of walkers or wheelchairs or confined to hospital beds, suffering from dementia, recovering from strokes?

The fire is coming fast. Help is not.

Staying at the Cypress Meadows Post-Acute center in Paradise is not an option. Sheltering in place means certain death for the 30 or so staff members on hand and the patients who rely on them. A fleet of vans that might have helped ferry them to safety has been turned back because of the danger.

Sheila Craft, director of admissions and marketing at Cypress Meadows, has to find 91 beds within driving distance of this small town in the Sierra foothills. And she has to find them now.

To read the rest of the story and to find out what the staff did, click here.

Source: Maria L. La Ganga of LA Times

3. Hacker Indicted in SamSam Ransomware Attacks on Allscripts, Hospitals

A grand jury in New Jersey has indicted two Iranian hackers in connection with the ransomware campaign that crippled more than 200 organizations, including Allscripts and several hospitals, universities and cities, according to an ABC 7 report. The men are still at large.

Here are seven things to know:

1. The U.S. indictment, unsealed Nov. 28, accuses Faramarz Shahi Savandi and Mohammad Mehdi Shah Mansouri of operating what authorities called “an extreme form of 21st century digital blackmail,” by infecting several victims’ computers with the SamSam ransomware.

2. Allscripts was one of the hackers’ victims. The Chicago-based medical records company was hit with a cyberattack in mid-January that blocked several hospital clients’ access to their EHRs. Allscripts currently faces a class-action federal lawsuit alleging it didn’t sufficiently monitor its cloud-based data systems to protect its clients’ data from the attack.

3. There were five other healthcare-related entities affected by the ransomware campaign, including: Wichita-based Kansas Heart; Los Angeles-based Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center; LabCorp, Columbia, Md.-based MedStar Health; and Omaha-based OrthoNebraska Hospital.

4. Several cities — including Atlanta and Newark — were also victimized by the hackers. SamSam is a ransomware variant that targets servers rather than tricking users into clicking on infected files. The virus then encrypts users’ files and demands a ransom payment to unlock and return the systems to normal.

5. The indictment alleges that the hackers developed the ransomware in 2015 and began launching attacks in 2017 by scanning for computer network vulnerabilities they could exploit to gain entry. The attacks would be launched before or after regular business hours to make them more difficult to detect and fight.

6. Although FBI officials warn organizations never to pay the ransom, victims paid the Iranian hackers more than $6 million and suffered more than $30 million in losses from lack of access to their data.

7. The hackers, Mr. Savandi and Mr. Mansouri, are named in FBI arrest warrants.

To access the indictment, click here.

Source: Julie Spitzer of Becker’s Health IT & CIO Report