The Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition’s next meeting is Thursday March 14th beginning at 10:30 am.
We have finalized the schedules for the Basic Disaster Life Support (BDLS), Advanced Disaster Life Support (ADLS), and Certified Hospital Emergency Coordinators (CHEC) courses. The BDLS course is April 3, 2019, the ADLS course is April 4 -5, 2019, and the Basic and Advanced CHEC course is May 22-24, 2019. The training will be held at Harrisonburg Rescue Squad. Once we receive the flyer, we will post it in our Events calendar located on our website. The flyers will have all of the information you need about the courses and how to register with the exception of the access code to complete the registration. If you are interested in attending any or all of these courses, you will need to contact Matt Cronin so that you can receive the access code to register. This prevents unauthorized attendees from registering. The course is free to all Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition members and partners. Please check back often for this and all of our educational offerings.
Wow a new milestone! Our website has reached over 2,000 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”.
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. Please click here for the flyer.
Examples of 21st Century Threats Include:
- 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)
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 is sold out of room. However, beginning Wednesday, February 6th, a block of rooms are being held at the Virginia Beach-Norfolk Hotel & Conference Center at the per diem rate of $99 on the nights of March 18,19, 20 and 21, 2019. The hotel is about 5 miles or 10 minutes away. Rooms can be booked by calling (757) 499-4400 (direct) or (800) 567-3856 (toll free) or 800-465-4329 (worldwide number) and asking for “Preparedness Academy.” Reservations must be made on or before February 25, 2019 for this rate. If you are unable to attend, you room reservation must be cancelled 72 hours in advance to avoid being charged. If you are unable to attend and you do not cancel before the 72 hour cutoff, the regional coalition will not pay for your charges. You can also check with Founders Inn (757) 366-5700 to see an anyone has canceled and if a room is available. If so, please use the Group Code VPH.
Many of the attendees have booked rooms but not yet registered to attend the Academy/ Field Epi Seminar. Please go into TRAIN and register so we can have enough seats, materials, etc. https://va.train.org
- Public Health and Healthcare Preparedness Academy Course ID:1082071 (March 19-20)
- VDH: Field Epidemiology Seminar 2019 (In Person) / Course ID: 1079541 (March 21)
- VDH: Field Epidemiology Seminar 2019 (via Webinar) / Course ID:1079543 (March 21)
Hospital-based incident command systems (e.g., HICS) have been used formally in U.S. hospitals since the late 1970’s as a way to manage incidents, coordinate resources and communications, and collaborate with community-based response agencies. Despite their widespread adoption and use, there is very little published information available on lessons learned, best practices, and real-world adaptation of these systems.This free webinar(the second in our series) is scheduled for March 12, 2019, from 1:00-2:30 PM ET and will feature speakers from small and rural hospitals who have experienced a recent emergency and activated their hospital-based incident command systems. The speakers will provide a brief overview of the incident, describe how they implemented their incident command system, share lessons learned and tools for small and rural hospitals, and discuss how they have incorporated these lessons into their current systems and plans.Register today!
2. 2019 Preparedness Summit: Registration Open and Travel Letter Available
The 2019 Preparedness Summit hosted by NACCHO is scheduled for March 26-29, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri. The theme of this year’s event is “Preparedness Summit 2019: The Evolving Threat Environment”. Early bird registration rates are available on the summit’s website until February 8, 2019.
The annual preparedness summit is a required cooperative agreement activity. The use of HPP and PHEP funds to cover the travel expenses of HPP and PHEP staff attending this meeting is an allowable expense. Please find attached the 2019 Preparedness Summit Recipient Travel Letter.
The annual HPP-PHEP recipient meeting will be held at 9:00 AM ET on Monday, March 25, 2019, the day before the summit opens. The agenda for the daylong meeting is still under development.
3. Fourth Generation Agents
After the incidents in the United Kingdom (U.K.) in 2018 involving a fourth generation agent, the White House National Security Council convened a federal interagency working group to identify and develop resources to help the emergency response community prepare for and respond to a fourth generation agent incident if one ever occurs in the U.S., as well as support the development of specific guidance and training to enhance overall preparedness efforts. These resources meet the needs of U.S. emergency response professionals who sought to learn more about the agent used in the U.K. and how to protect themselves and respond if such incidents ever occur in their communities.
Fourth generation agents, also known as Novichoks or A-series nerve agents, belong to a category of chemical warfare agents that are unique organophosphorus compounds. They are more persistent than other nerve agents and are at least as toxic as VX. While fourth generation agents share similar characteristics with other nerve agents, fourth generation agents also pose several unique challenges in terms of toxicity, detection, persistence, and potential for delayed onset of symptoms. The following resources were developed to address these characteristics and challenges and provide tailored guidance to various segments of the emergency response community. Click here for the Safety Awareness for First On-Scene Responders Bulletin, Reference Guide, and Medical Management Guidelines.
Measles Cases and Outbreaks
Five outbreaks (defined as 3 or more cases) have been reported in 2019 in the following jurisdictions:
These outbreaks are linked to travelers who brought measles back from other countries such as Israel and Ukraine, where large measles outbreaks are occurring. Make sure you are vaccinated against measles before traveling internationally.
- The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.
- Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa.
- Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.
- Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.
CMS is adding “emerging infectious diseases” to the current definition of all-hazards approach. After review, CMS determined it was critical for facilities to include planning for infectious diseases within their emergency preparedness program. In light of events such as the Ebola Virus and Zika, we believe that facilities should consider preparedness and infection prevention within their all-hazards approach, which covers both natural and man-made disasters.
Additionally, since the release of the Interpretive Guidelines for Emergency Preparedness in 2017, stakeholders and providers have asked for additional clarifications related to portable/mobile generators. CMS has added guidance under Tag E0015- Alternate Source Power as well as clarifications under Tag E0042- Emergency Standby Power Systems. Facilities should use the most appropriate energy source or electrical system based on their review of their individual facility’s all-hazards risks assessment and as required by existing regulations or state requirements. Regardless of the alternate sources of energy a facility chooses to utilize, it must be in accordance with local and state laws, manufacturer requirements, as well as applicable Life Safety Code (LSC) requirements.
If a facility risk assessment determines the best way to maintain temperatures, emergency lighting, fire detection and extinguishing systems and sewage and waste disposal would be through the use of a portable and mobile generator, rather than a permanent generator, then the LSC provisions such as generator testing, maintenance, etc. outlined under the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines requirements would not be applicable, except for NFPA 70 – National Electrical Code. However, the revisions, as the provisions under emergency preparedness themselves, do not take away existing requirements under LSC, physical environment or any other Conditions of Participation that a provider type is subject to (for example to maintain safe and comfortable temperatures).
Finally, in addition to minor technical edits, CMS has also made the change to the HHA citations from 482.22 to reflect the regulatory citation 484.102
To view the entire Appendix Z, click 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 Ebola treatments are being tested in Congo outbreak area
Amid the second-largest Ebola outbreak ever, the hunt for a lifesaving treatment is on. A clinical trial of patients taking place in Congo is gathering evidence on experimental therapies, to provide a proven option when the deadly virus inevitably emerges again.
The first multidrug clinical trial of Ebola therapies, which began enrolling patients in November, will compare the effectiveness of three antibody treatments and one antiviral drug. One therapy tested briefly during the 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa, the largest ever, has already shown promise.
With the trial data, though, “we’ll be able to say, ideally, that this drug or that drug actually does work, not just we think or hope it does work,” says Richard Davey, one of the principal trial investigators and the deputy clinical director at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md.
28 days of treatment
The drug trial began at a treatment unit in the northeastern Congolese city of Beni, with plans to add additional units. Enrolled patients will receive one of the four trial therapies, as well as standard, supportive care including fluids, electrolytes and painkillers.
Researchers will compare death rates between each group of enrolled patients after 28 days of treatment to determine each drug’s effectiveness. All four treatments on trial have been studied in animals. The three antibody treatments have been deemed safe for human use, while safety testing of the antiviral in people is underway.
Source: Aimee Cunningham of Washington Post
3. February 26 webinar on addressing cybersecurity issues in your organization
AHA’s Center for Health Innovation Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. ET will host a webinar featuring the latest insights from John Riggi, AHA senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk and former FBI cyber senior executive, and John Strand, senior instructor for SANS and the owner of an information security firm specializing in penetration testing. Riggi and Strand will provide an overview of the current cybersecurity threat landscape facing health care organizations, as well as focus on the perception of cybersecurity issues, such as organizational culture, training and compliance. View more information and register.