1. Regional Coalition Meeting
1. Regional Coalition Meeting
The Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition will conduct a Pediatric Surge Annex Planning Workshop instead of its monthly meeting Thursday January 9, 2020 beginning at 8:00 am. The workshop is a way for all of the regional stakeholders to get together to discuss best practices, identify the mission/concept of operations, identify tasks to support the mission, and develop detailed plan components. This annex will be used to train the regional coalition membership on the response needs associated with a pediatric surge event. Additionally, the regional coalition will conduct a Table Top Exercise in June to test the annex as required by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).
2. Save the Dates
Upcoming training and conferences:
The Coalition is able to send to people to the Second annual Disaster Preparedness Summit in Washington, DC. Please contact our Exercise and Training Coordinator Matt Cronin if you would like to attend the one-day event. If you would like to attend, we must have your name and contact information before December 28, 2019 to allow us enough time to receive approval from VHHA and VDH. We are allowed to send and reimburse two coalition members for expenses incurred resulting from attending the summit. These members include healthcare organizational staff with responsibility of emergency management or are involved in emergency preparedness planning, fire, EMS, and local emergency management.
The Coalition is able to send to people to the 2020 NACCHO Preparedness Summit in Dallas. Please contact our Exercise and Training Coordinator Matt Cronin if you would like to attend the multi-day event. If you would like to attend, we must have your name and contact information before February 15, 2020 to allow us enough time to receive approval from VHHA and VDH. We are allowed to send and reimburse two coalition members for expenses incurred resulting from attending the summit. These members include healthcare organizational staff with responsibility of emergency management or are involved in emergency preparedness planning, fire, EMS, and local emergency management.
The Coalition is able to send to people to The Joint Commission Emergency Preparedness Conference in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Please contact our Exercise and Training Coordinator Matt Cronin if you would like to attend the two-day event. If you would like to attend, we must have your name and contact information before March 21, 2020 to allow us enough time to receive approval from VHHA and VDH. We are allowed to send and reimburse two coalition members for expenses incurred resulting from attending the summit. These members include healthcare organizational staff with responsibility of emergency management or are involved in emergency preparedness planning, fire, EMS, and local emergency management.
3. Clinical Advisor
3. Clinical Advisor
The Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition is seeking a part-time physician to serve as a clinical advisor. The job announcement can be found here. We ask healthcare organizational staff to please assist us by spreading the word about this open position. As part of our grant funding requirement, we must hire a physician before the next grant period begins.
4. Memorandum of Understanding
We are pleased to announce that the Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition continues to receive 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 organization resides within the Northwest Region and you have 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.
Virginia Department of Health Weekly Influenza Activity Report
The Virginia Department of Health monitors the level of activity of influenza-like illness (ILI) each week from October through May. Those are the months when influenza (“flu”) is most likely to occur in Virginia, and that time period is referred to as the “flu season”.
The Virginia Department of Health uses a number of different data sources to determine the level of flu activity that is occurring each week during flu season. The main data sources that are used to make the weekly flu activity level determination are:
- laboratory reports
- outbreak reports, and
- data on visits to hospital emergency departments and urgent care centers for flu-like illness.
Flu Activity Levels:
Flu surveillance is not designed to count every person who has the disease. That would be nearly impossible because not all people with the disease are diagnosed by a physician and even fewer have their illness confirmed by a laboratory test.
Instead, VDH monitors changes in flu activity from week to week in each of the five health planning regions to look for increases compared to a baseline period. Activity is based on illness complaints that lead people to seek care in a hospital emergency department or urgent care center. Flu-like illness is defined as a fever along with a cough and/or a sore throat.
To view the weekly report, click here.
1. Partnering with the Healthcare Supply Chain During Disaster
The healthcare supply chain is complex. It supports patient care on a daily basis by producing and delivering medications as well as products ranging from gloves and gowns, to diagnostics, to pharmaceuticals and biomedical equipment, to surgical supplies. Around the world, the healthcare supply chain is confronted with countless challenges every day. During disasters or other catastrophic events, the healthcare supply chain can experience distinct strains depending on the nature of the event and the impact on surrounding infrastructure.
Purpose: This document is intended to provide an overview of the emergency planning and response considerations of healthcare supply chain owners, operators, and end users, as well as insights for healthcare coalitions (HCCs) working with healthcare supply chain partners on preparedness, response, and recovery. It is not intended to be a comprehensive listing but aims to capture key changes during serious or catastrophic events, compared to normal supply chain operations, as well as planning and response contingencies.
2. Fourth Generation Agents
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 resources were developed to address these characteristics and challenges and provide tailored guidance to various segments of the emergency response community.
These resources were developed by a federal interagency working group comprising experts in medicine, science, public health, law enforcement, fire, EMS, HAZMAT, and occupational safety and health from the Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), Department of Transportation (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Emergency Medical Services), Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency.
3. The Healthcare and Public Health Sector Highlights
The HPH Sector Highlights – Preparedness, Resilience, and Response Edition is a weekly email produced by the HHS ASPR Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) on behalf of the HPH Sector Partnership. It provides updates on healthcare and public health critical infrastructure resources, tools and events related to preparedness, resilience, and response.
- Flu Now Widespread in Nearly Half of States
- Measles Cases Continue to Rise Around the World
- Two Ebola Treatments Yield ‘Substantial Decrease’ in Mortality, Landmark Trial Shows
1. Partnerships With Public Health Benefit Us All
Private or public organizations can play a key role in a large-scale public health emergency by assisting public health in the distribution and/or dispensing of medical countermeasures, such as antibiotics to any or all of the following:
* Employees * Employee Families * Contract Staff * Clients * General Public
These medical countermeasures would be provided to organizations by local public health agencies at no cost. Employers benefit by protecting the health and safety of their employees while helping to ensure their own continuity of operations.
2. CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory: Guidance for Using Rapid Diagnostic Tests for Ebola in the United States
In October 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed marketing of the OraQuick® Ebola Rapid Antigen Test, a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for detecting Ebola virus in both symptomatic patients and recently deceased people. This is the first Ebola RDT that FDA has allowed for marketing in the United States. The RDT should be used only in cases where more sensitive molecular testing is not available. All OraQuick® Ebola Rapid Antigen Test results are presumptive; all test results (positive and negative) must be verified through real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) testing at a Laboratory Response Network (LRN) laboratory located in 49 states and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Interpretation of RDT results should be done with caution and in consultation with relevant public health authorities to ensure appropriate testing and interpretation of results. RDT results should not be used to rule out Ebola infection or to determine the use or type of infection prevention and control precautions when managing a patient with Ebola compatible symptoms and epidemiologic risk factors. Healthcare providers with a patient with possible Ebola virus infection should first contact their local or state public health authorities before any testing is performed. CDC is available to provide consultation, technical assistance, and confirmatory testing as necessary.
3. Updates: Characteristics of Patients Experiencing Rehospitalization or Death after Hospital Discharge in a National Outbreak of E-cigarette, or Vaping, Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI); and Interim Guidance for Health Care Professionals Caring for Patients with Suspected EVALI and Reducing the Risk for Rehospitalization and Death Following Hospital Discharge – United States, 2019
These reports contain updated guidance to clinicians and offer new recommendations and tools to support health care providers before and during hospital discharge to minimize the risk of rehospitalization or death.
Incorporating these updated recommendations into the management of patients with EVALI may minimize risk of rehospitalization and avert further mortality among patients hospitalized for EVALI.
- Patients should be in stable condition for 24–48 hours prior to discharge.
- Patients should have a follow-up visit with a primary care physician or pulmonary specialist optimally within 48 hours of discharge to minimize the risk of rehospitalization or death.
- A high proportion of EVALI patients who were rehospitalized or died after discharge had one or more chronic medical conditions, including cardiac disease, chronic pulmonary disease, and diabetes, and increasing age might be risk factors leading to higher morbidity and mortality among some EVALI patients.
- Clinicians should expand efforts to enhance care coordination and discharge planning to address comorbidities, including mental health and substance use disorder services.
- FEMA Releases Ready Campaign’s 2020 Preparedness Calendar
- NAC Reports on Emergency Management Issues
- FEMA Hosts National Exercise Program Webinars
- FEMA Releases National Incident Management Documents
- FEMA Hosts Webinars on Updated NIMS ICS Courses
- Upcoming Deadlines and Reminders
- FEMA Podcast Episode 58: Helping Children Cope With Disasters
- Happy Holidays!
G775 EOC Operations and Management course is scheduled for January 22-24, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
L146: Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP) course is scheduled for February 4-5, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
G0205 Recovery from Disaster: The Local Community Role course is scheduled for February 10-11, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
VEOC 100 WebEOC for Local Government course is scheduled for February 19, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Delivery Model course is scheduled for February 26-26, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
VEOC 100 WebEOC for Local Government course is scheduled for March 16, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
G191 EOC/ICS Interface course is scheduled for March 27, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
VEOC 100 WebEOC for Local Government course is scheduled for April 7, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
G202 Debris Management course is scheduled for April 21-23, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Workshop course is scheduled for May 20, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
1. How Prepared Are We For The Next Pandemic? Not Very, Experts Show
What will happen when an unexpectedly virulent flu, or SARS, or Disease X—any other rapidly spreading viral infections—spreads globally causing a pandemic? How prepared are we? What do we need to do to be ready?
These are some of the questions faced by global leaders in public health, industry, and government in a pandemic preparedness exercise called Event 201. The program was a collaboration between the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the World Economic Forum, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Trying to improve preparedness is critically important as we will be seeing more epidemics from factors like climate change, shifting and increasing populations, urbanization, deforestation, and globalization.
Source: Judy Stone of Forbes
2. Webinar: Healthcare Challenges in Chemical Incidents
Recent incidents in the U.S. and abroad have highlighted the need to plan for accidents involving chemicals and emerging chemical threats (e.g., fourth generation agents). Issue 9 of The Exchange focused on planning, response, and lessons learned specific to chemical incidents. Due to the growing interest in this topic area, ASPR TRACIE is pleased to host a webinar to further expand on those articles. Panelists will discuss the potential effects of a chemical incident and share recent guidance and lessons learned in assessing, triaging, and treating patients, including considerations for novel nerve agent treatment.
The webinar will take place Tuesday, January 14, from 1:30 PM-3:00 PM ET.
3. CDC report 1,800 flu deaths in US this season
ATLANTA (CNN/Gray News) – Influenza has sickened 3.7 million since the official season began in late September. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the infection has killed 1,800 people and sent 32,000 to the hospital. Nine more children have died in the last week, bringing the total to 19 for the 2019-2020 flu season. All regions of the country are seeing elevated levels of flu-like illness, according to the CDC.
4. “It got really foggy really quick” before ‘apocalyptic’ 69-car pileup, witness says
“It was one second I was getting on the bridge,” Bray Hollowell remembered. “The other second, I was braking and trying to get out of the way. Hollowell said the crash was not in a work zone, but was not far from a construction zone. “It was two lanes,” Hollowell said. “It’s just a rough place to drive, so traffic was more compact and squished together.” Hollowell said the weather turned quickly. “It really just got really foggy really quick,” he said. “And I just was driving on the bridge and then out of nowhere I see and accident and I just brake. And I couldn’t really do much to avoid. I just ran into people.”
Source: Web Staff and Gabrielle Harmon of WTVR 6.com