April 8 – 14, 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. The May meeting location will be announced once we have confirmed it.



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

1. Virginia Department of Health Community Based Emergency Response Seminar

The Virginia Department of Health Office of Emergency Preparedness will be conducting the Community Based Emergency Response Seminar (CBERS) this spring throughout the state.  This year’s topic will be an overview of the CHEMPACK Program. This Seminar is designed to provide attendees an overview of the CHEMPACK Program, recognition of nerve agent exposures, and awareness of the state plan in which attendees will be encouraged to return to their agencies to assist in reviewing and editing their local plan(s), assist in further developing their local training and protocols/plans. Please take time to review and share the attached flyer with dates, locations and registration information with coworkers and partners.

The location in our region for this year’s CBERS is Augusta County Fire-Rescue, Preston L. Yancey Station, 2015 Jefferson HWY, Fishersville, VA 22939. There are two different dates and times for the training.
Click here for the CBERS 2019 Flyer.
*Continuing Education credits are awarded for the program.
To register:  https://www.eventbrite.com/o/virginia-department-of-health-18596986991 
For more information see http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/emergency-preparedness/cbers-2019/   .
Questions: Adreania Tolliver adreania.tolliver@vdh.virginia.gov

2. 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



1. The Exchange Issue 8

In this issue of The Exchange, we discuss the challenges experienced by hospital support services staff involved in recent no-notice incidents (e.g., mass shootings). ASPR TRACIE interviewed healthcare practitioners and subject matter experts from the hospital nutrition, blood, and pharmacy fields to present a snapshot for planning consideration and to highlight how these professionals overcame challenges and incorporated lessons learned into their plans and policies. We hope that these real-life experiences shared by your colleagues across the nation help you plan (and adjust existing plans) for disasters and no-notice incidents. Please visit our resource pages on Mass Violence and Drug Shortages and Scarce Resources, and visit our Topic Collections on Pharmacy and Blood and Blood Products. The complete issue can be found here.

2. When Hospitals Become Islands: One Facility’s Evacuation Story

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey struck Houston and surrounding areas more than once, dumping close to 60 inches of rain over a wide swath of the area in just a few days. Hospitals became islands, roads were impassable, and military and public safety helicopters were brought in to evacuate people from their rooftops. Todd Senters (MHA, FACHE, Service Line Administrator and Facility Administrator at Baptist Beaumont Hospital’s [BBH] Orange Campus) shares how staff in his facility worked tirelessly to care for existing patients (and those who were dropped off by helicopter) just prior to having to evacuate due to a breach in the City of Beaumont’s water pumps.

The story can be found here.

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. 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.

2. Dialysis During Disasters – Webinar

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
2:00 PM — 3:00 PM EST

The Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) Program would like to invite you to attend an informational webinar titled Dialysis During Disasters. Presentation objectives include:  

  • Provide a basic understanding of end stage renal disease (ESRD) and dialysis treatments
  • Provide an overview of the ESRD Network Program
  • Provide an overview of the KCER Program
  • Provide an overview of how KCER collaborates with ESRD Networks, patients, providers, and other renal stakeholders
  • Discuss key considerations for ESRD community planning, response, and recovery
  • Discuss ways to build partnerships within the ESRD community

This event is open to the public and is geared towards professionals in the fields of Emergency Management, Public Health (ESF-8), Healthcare Coalitions, and additional stakeholders responsible for disaster response and recovery.

Please click here to register for this event. Space is limited, reserve your spot immediately!

3. Certificate of Public Need; Nursing Homes and Hospitals, Disaster Exemption HB 1870

Provides for a 30-day exemption from the requirement to obtain a certificate of public need for an increase in the total number of beds in existing hospitals or nursing homes if the State Health Commissioner has determined that a natural or man-made disaster has caused the evacuation of a hospital or nursing home and that a public health emergency exists due to a shortage of hospital or nursing home beds. The Board of Health shall adopt regulations for this exemption.
The bill was signed by the Governor and will go into effect July 1, 2019. For more information about this bill, please click here.

4. Once Again, Safety Issues Top List of Most-Cited TJC Standards

Hospitals continued to struggle with safety issues in 2018, according to The Joint Commission’s latest list of most challenging standards. Released in the April issue of Perspectives, the list covers the top Joint Commission requirements that surveyors found to be noncompliant most often during 2018.

For accredited hospitals, the most-cited standards were as follows:

  • 02.01.35—The hospital provides and maintains systems for extinguishing fires (88.9% noncompliance percentage).
  • 02.05.01—The hospital manages risks associated with its utility systems (78.7%).
  • 02.06.01—The hospital establishes and maintains a safe, functional environment (73.9%).
  • 02.01.30—The hospital provides and maintains building features to protect individuals from the hazards of fire and smoke (72.9%).
  • 02.02.01—The hospital reduces the risk of infections associated with medical equipment, devices, and supplies (70,9%)
  • 02.01.10—Building and fire protection features are designed and maintained to minimize the effects of fire, smoke, and heat (70.7%).
  • 02.01.20—The hospital maintains the integrity of the means of egress (67.4%).
  • 02.05.05—The hospital inspects, tests, and maintains utility systems (64.7%).
  • 02.02.01—The hospital manages risks related to hazardous materials and waste (62.3%).
  • 02.05.09—The hospital inspects, tests, and maintains medical gas and vacuum systems (62.1%).

The March 27 issue of Joint Commission Online also includes highlights of the accreditor’s findings for its various accreditation settings.
Source: Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare

5. Measles outbreak: How doctors can change anti-vaccine minds

The article begins with a story of one mother’s lack of vaccinating her child, and the reasoning behind not vaccinating her child. But, that all changed after she visited India and saw first hand how vaccinations can help prevent the spreading of diseases. 

While the overwhelming majority of Americans choose to have their children vaccinated, the number of children who go completely unvaccinated is rising. The most recent estimate from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that in 2017, 1.3 percent of toddlers haven’t had a single shot, more than quadruple the 0.3 percent rate in 2001.

Vaccine safety and effectiveness have been studied for decades, but research on how to talk about vaccines, and how to increase vaccine acceptance, is still in its infancy. In the midst of the measles spread in the U.S., doctors and public health workers are learning on the fly what works, and what doesn’t, when it comes to communicating with vaccine-hesitant parents and communities.

To read the entire article, click here.

Source: Anna Almendrala of NBC News

6. Telemedicine tied to more antibiotics for kids, study finds

Sniffling, sore-throated kids seen via telemedicine visits were far more likely to be prescribed antibiotics than those who went to a doctor’s office or clinic, according to a new study.

Many of those prescriptions disregarded medical guidelines, raising the risk they could cause side effects or contribute to the rise of antibiotic-resistant germs.

“I understand the desire for care that’s more convenient and timely,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Kristin Ray of the University of Pittsburgh. “But we want to make sure that we don’t sacrifice quality or safety or effectiveness in the process.”

The study was published today in the journal Pediatrics.

To read the entire article, click here.

Source: Associated Press