January 21 – 27, 2019

Next Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition Monthly Meeting

The next regional coalition meeting is Thursday February 14th at 10:30 am. The meeting will be held via our Ring Central conference call system.

We continue to work on scheduling Basic Disaster Life Support (BDLS), Advanced Disaster Life Support (ADLS), and Certified Hospital Emergency Coordinators (CHEC) courses. We have tentatively scheduled the BDLS course April 3, 2019, the ADLS course April 4 -5, 2019, and the Basic and Advanced CHEC course May 22-24, 2019. Once the dates and locations are confirmed, we will update our Events calendar located on our website. Please check back often for this and all of our educational offerings.


Wow! Our website has reached over 1,900 viewers. Let’s keep it going by informing anyone who has an interest in the Northwest Region Coalition and the information we provide.

Click here to access our website. 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. Please click here to view the regional “one-pager”.

 Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association

Virginia Department of Health

1. Virginia Department of Health Weekly Influenza Activity Report

To view the weekly report, click here. This link will be provided each week until we are no longer in flu season for the 2018-2019 reporting period. To view the map of the US for the influenza summary, click here.

2. 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



1. Healthcare and Public Health Risk Identification and Site Criticality (RISC) Toolkit Webinar

On January 29, from 1:00-2:00 PM (ET), public and private partners will share how to use ASPR’s Healthcare and Public Health Risk Identification and Site Criticality (RISC) Toolkit, version 1.0.  Developed with the input of a team of HPH Sector partners and risk management subject matter experts, the RISC Toolkit is designed to help Sector owners and operators identify risks in an easy-to-follow format using objective national-level data.  Learn more about this objective, data-driven, all-hazards risk assessment tool with the potential to inform emergency preparedness planning, risk management activities, and resource investments. After providing a brief description of the tool, speakers will discuss how they have implemented the RISC toolkit and share success stories and lessons learned. Attendees will have a chance to ask questions. Check out this flyer for additional information.Space is limited; register today!  

2. New Resources Available from ASPR TRACIE

Cold Weather Resources
ASPR TRACIE’s Natural Disasters Topic Collection includes lessons learned and plans, tools, and templates for extreme cold events and numerous other topic areas. Click here to view all of ASPR TRACIE’s Topic Collections that may be helpful in other planning efforts related to extreme cold/ winter weather events.

Select ASPR TRACIE Technical Assistance Responses
The ASPR TRACIE Assistance Center provides personalized support and responses to requests for information and technical assistance (TA).
CMS EP Rule Exercise Requirements: This ASPR TRACIE TA response includes information provided by the CMS Quality, Safety & Oversight Group regarding exercise requirements for a large Federally Qualified Health Center.

Resources from the Field
This Healthcare Security and Safety Assessment was created to help healthcare facilities augment hazard vulnerability assessments, develop an understanding of their security gaps, and create strategies for improving preparedness. This resource can be found in the ASPR TRACIE Workplace Violence Topic Collection.

Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

2018-2019 Influenza Season and Recommendations for Clinicians

Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Time: 2:00-3:00 P.M. (Eastern Time)

Influenza activity in the United States is increasing and is expected to continue at elevated levels for several more weeks. Influenza A(H1N1) pdm09 viruses have been most common this season; influenza A(H3N2) and influenza B viruses are also circulating. In the southeastern part of the country, influenza A(H3N2) viruses have been most commonly reported this season. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all people 6 months and older and is the best way to prevent influenza and its potentially serious complications. Available evidence consistently indicates that antiviral treatment initiated as early as possible can be a useful second line of defense to treat influenza illness when indicated and can reduce severe outcomes of influenza.

During this COCA Call, clinicians will learn about 2018 –2019 influenza activity and hear an overview of CDC’s recommendations for health care providers regarding influenza vaccination and the use of influenza antiviral medications for the 2018-2019 influenza season, including a new antiviral medication approved by the FDA in October 2018.

If you are unable to attend this live COCA Call, it will be available on demand and free continuing education (CE) will still be available. Just click on the link to the call page above and the webinar will be available to view under the “Call Materials” tab a few days after the call takes place.

Credit: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services


         U.S. Department of Homeland Security 

Federal Emergency Management Agency


Virginia Department of Emergency Management

1. G556 Damage Assessment Course

Dates: February 27, 2019
Times: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location:Zehmer Hall on UVA Grounds (Rooms C/D)
104 Midmont Ln.
Charlottesville, VA 22903

The purpose of this course is to build local capacity for damage assessment by enabling you to develop or refine a damage assessment program for your community. In this course, you will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to be able to conduct efficient and effective damage assessments in order to save lives, protect property and the environment, and to begin the process of recovery and mitigation.

Click here to view the Course Announcement Flyer and for details, prerequisites, and registration details.
Deadline to register is February 22, 2019.
This 1 day course is designed to enable the direction of emergency response personnel and resources to the most appropriate areas and help identify the need for additional resources during an emergency or disaster.

Target Audience: This course is for state and local officials who are responsible for assessing, collecting, and reporting damages during and after any event that causes damage of private, public, and critical infrastructure.

2. Grant Writing Training

Henrico County Division of Fire and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop in Henrico, April 18-19, 2019. In this class you’ll learn how to find grants and write winning grant proposals. This training is applicable to grant seekers across all disciplines.
Multi-enrollment discounts and discounts for Grant Writing USA returning alumni are available. Tuition payment is not required at the time of enrollment. Tuition is $455 and includes everything: two days of terrific instruction, workbook, and access to our Alumni Forum that’s packed full of tools, helpful discussions and more than 200 sample grant proposals.

More information including learning objectives, class location, graduate testimonials and online registration can be found here.

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. New Strain of Ransomware Claims to Donate Profits to Fictitious Children’s Cancer Charity 

Cyberattackers have reportedly been using a strain of ransomware called CryptoMix to remotely hack computers and then falsely claiming that victims’ ransom payments will be used to fund children’s medical help, HealthcareInfoSecurity reports.

Coveware, a ransomware response firm, identified the uptick in attackers launching cyberthreats with crypto-locking ransomware CryptoMix. The ransom notes claim that victims’ payments — typically made in bitcoin to unlock their stolen files — will go to a fictitious charity for kids with cancer, dubbed the International Children Charity Organisation. The attackers have also lifted information from crowdfunding websites aimed at helping raise money for medical treatments to back up their stories.

“We identified legitimate crowdfunding pages for the children whose images matched those in the ransom notes,” reads a Coveware blog post, according to HealthcareInfoSecurity. “We also notified the families of the children whose images could be positively identified. Despite the upsetting nature of the news, we felt that the families had a right to know.”

“We are guessing this tactic is meant to assuage the moral hazard associated with paying a ransom,” the blog post continues. “It goes without saying that these cybercriminals did think this through. It is poignantly obvious that the charity is fake, and that the details of the child’s case are lifted from other sites.”

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

3. Disaster Planning Should Include Employment Laws

Management has too many other things to worry about when disaster strikes.

There are many manuals and publications about what companies should do to plan for natural and manmade disasters, from preparing for infrastructure disruptions to communicating with employees and the public. Another requirement is that management must maintain awareness of their responsibility for adhering to employment laws and regulations even in the face of crisis.

“How an employer navigates a significant crisis can have a lasting impact on business operations, its reputation with customers, and more importantly its employees,” observes Hal Shillingstad, an attorney with the law firm of Ogletree Deakins. “A myriad of legal issues will arise during the immediate aftermath of a disaster or crisis but also in the days, weeks and months that follow.”

To read more from this article, click here.

Source: David Sparkman of EHS Today