March 25 – 31, 2019

The Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition’s next meeting is Thursday April 11th beginning at 10:30 am. This is normally an in-person meeting, however this year it will be via our conferencing system. Our May meeting will be in-person.



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. Please see the flyers for Basic Disaster Life Support Course, Advanced Disaster Life Support Course, and Certified Hospital Emergency Coordinator Course. We have also posted this information to our Events calendar located on our website. The courses are free to all Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition members and partners. Please check back often for this and all of our educational offerings.

Upcoming exercises: Sometime during the two-week period of April 7 – 19, 2019, the coalition will conduct its annual Coalition Surge Test Tool exercise. The exercise is designed to test the coalition’s ability to absorb 20% of the total regional inpatient beds. The beds may come from one, or multiple, evacuating hospital(s) to multiple receiving hospitals. The hospital notification letter was sent to the hospital points of contact last week. Additionally, we will conduct the annual regional exercise May 9th in-place of our regional coalition meeting. For questions regarding the upcoming exercises, please contact our Exercise and Training Specialist, Matt Cronin. 

Click here to access our website. Don’t forget to visit the Events calendar for upcoming training and exercise events.

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

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.

 Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response


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

Hospital Preparedness Program




Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Credit: U.S. Food & Drug


Credit: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services


         U.S. Department of Homeland Security 

Federal Emergency Management Agency


Virginia Department of Emergency Management

Course Offerings

1. ICS 300 April 13th & 14th
Spotsylvania County is hosting an ICS 300 course April 13th & 14th at Fire/Rescue Station 4 in Fredericksburg. Registration deadline is April 5th. Please see this flyer for more details.

2. NOAA SKYWARN Basics Course April 3rd at 1900 hours
The Culpeper County Office of Emergency Management is pleased to present the NOAA SKYWARN Basics Course.  The course will be held at the EOC on Wednesday April 3rd at 1900 hours.  A National Weather Service meteorologist will teach the class and provide related materials.  We will be attempting to schedule two classes a year from NOAA , and are Working with Fauquier County Emergency Management to combine efforts and offer the entire series over the next few years.  Starting with SKYWARN the basics and looking to host another in the series in the Fall.

This SKYWARN® Spotter Class is offered free of charge from the combined efforts of your local National Weather Service Forecast Office and Culpeper County Office of Emergency Services.
Registration can be done at
Further information and explanation of all the SKYWARN curriculum can be found at
Training Announcement Skywarn April 3 2019

3. G191 EOC/ICS Interface and G775 EOC Operations and Management
There are multiple offerings for these courses. Please see the flyers for details.
G191 Course Announcement March 2019 Alexandria
G191 Course Announcement April 2019 Manassas Park
G775 Course Announcement Alexandria April 2019
G775 Course Announcement Manassas Park June 2019

4. Individual Assistance Workshop
A two-day workshop will be held at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Manassas May 1st and 2nd. Please see the flyer for details.

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.
FDA issues safety alert for Medtronic defibrillators due to cybersecurity vulnerabilities

The FDA issued a safety communication alert on March 21 warning healthcare providers and individuals with Medtronic cardiac defibrillators of cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the devices’ wireless technology.

The alert was issued after the FDA reviewed information concerning possible cybersecurity vulnerabilities associated with the Conexus wireless telemetry technology used for communication between Medtronic’s implantable cardiac devices, clinic programmers and home monitors.

The wireless technology does not use encryption, authentication or authorization, which leave Medtronic’s cardiac implantable cardioverter defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators vulnerable to being hacked. If an unauthorized individual gained access, he or she could potentially manipulate an implantable device, home monitor or clinic programmer.

Medtronic is working to add security updates to address the cybersecurity vulnerabilities, according to the FDA. In the interim, the FDA recommends providers maintain control of the devices’ programmers and keep IT networks well-managed. The agency also does not recommend replacing the devices, and said it is unaware of any reports of patient harm related to the cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

To access the full report, click here.

Source: Jackie Drees of Becker’s Health IT & CIO Report

3. Instagram, GoFundMe crack down on anti-vaccine content

Instagram and GoFundMe are among the latest social media companies to address anti-vaccine content online.

Four things to know:

1. Instagram shared plans to block anti-vaccine hashtags March 21. The move comes about three weeks after its parent company, Facebook, pledged to stop promoting anti-vaccine posts on Instagram, reports The Hill.

 2. An Instagram spokesperson said the platform will block hashtags such as #vaccinescauseautism and #vaccinesarepoison as a “short-term measure” to address vaccine misinformation, according to The Hill.

“As we take action in the short-term, we know that fighting misinformation is a long-term commitment,” the spokesperson said.

3. On March 22, GoFundMe also announced it would remove all crowdfunding campaigns from its platform seeking to raise money to promote vaccine misinformation.

4. Spokesperson Bobby Whithorne told the Daily Beast that GoFundMe is “conducting a thorough review and will remove any campaigns currently on the platform.” Mr. Whithorne called the crowdfunding campaigns “extremely rare.” So far, GoFundMe has identified fewer than 10 campaigns to remove.

Source: Mackensie Bean of Becker’s Health Clinical Leadership & Infection Control