Letter from the Director

NSPA has finished up another year, and we want to take a look back at some highlights and discuss the direction for 2022-2023. Over the last 12 months, our coalition members responded to SARs-COV2/ Covid-19 as variant strains spread within the state and increased related hospitalizations throughout the fall of 2021 and the winter months of 2022. The supply chain faced disruptions ranging from personal protective equipment to other medical assets and even concerns over the availability of food, fuel, and highly technical medical resources. Our coalition members continued to coordinate with one another to negotiate the Covid and supply chain challenges while facing disruptions in infrastructure and the effects of severe weather. The dedication to patient care during yet another year displays incredible professionalism in the face of adversity.

During the 2021-2022 Hospital Preparedness Program year, our coalition members and partners participated in additional activities to benefit healthcare within our region. NSPA hosted the TEEX Pediatrics in Disaster course, Basic and Advanced Disaster Life Support courses, and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care Courses. The NSPA CMS Exercise series ran from September to November with a focus on information systems interruptions in healthcare facilities. Coalition workgroups collaborated in developing a Burn Surge Annex to the NSPA Emergency Operations Plan, culminating in a table-top exercise. NSPA and the Far Southwest Healthcare Coalition collaborated on a Long-Term Care Mutual Aid Full-Scale exercise and a Certified Healthcare Emergency Coordinator course.

In the 2022-2023 program year, NSPA will host additional regional training opportunities. These include the Basic and Advanced Disaster Life Support, Certified Healthcare Emergency Coordinator, Hospital Incident Command Systems training, and a newly developed Nursing Home Incident Command Systems training. The NSPA CMS Exercise Series will again take place from September to November, and the NSPA Pediatric Disaster Workgroup will host a workshop and exercise to discuss further concerns for the treatment of pediatrics. NSPA will seek collaborators on the regional Radiological Surge Annex to the EOP, which will lead to a discussion-based exercise. In the spring of 2023, NSPA will facilitate the Medical Readiness and Surge Exercise. These are all in addition to our participation in and support of partner exercises and training needs.

In closing, all of us from NSPA would like to extend our gratitude for another successful year to all of our coalition members and partners. I would also like to recognize the NSPA Board of Directors, who provide additional direction and support for the coalition's activities. - Robert Hawkins, Executive Director