National Preparedness Month
Friday, September 29th
Friday, September 22nd
Friday, September 15th
Friday, September 8th
Friday, September 1st
As many of you know, September is National Preparedness Month, and to celebrate the preparedness efforts across the Commonwealth, the Virginia Healthcare Emergency Management Program (VHEMP) will spotlight one healthcare coalition each Friday. Bookmark or save this post to refer back to as we share updates!
First, National Preparedness Month has been recognized since 2004 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, the nation has renewed its focus on strengthening emergency preparedness efforts and encouraging families, professional organizations, and communities to undertake emergency planning. The 2023 theme for National Preparedness Month is “Preparing for Older Adults.” Additional details about this campaign can be found at Ready.gov and FEMA.gov. This month, the American Red Cross also supports a “30 Days of Preparedness” campaign featuring daily suggestions regarding preparedness efforts. View more information at redcross.org.
As frontline providers, healthcare professionals have a unique understanding of the importance of maintaining preparedness efforts to respond to an emergency that impacts public health and patients, including older adults. Supporting this work is the VHEMP, which represents a partnership between the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) that receives grant funding from the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) under the auspices of HHS. The program addresses close gaps in the health care system’s ability to respond to natural and manmade disasters. This is done through a well-established network of four regional healthcare coalitions that work with healthcare facilities and response organizations to support healthcare preparedness and response.
Each healthcare coalition operates a Regional Healthcare Coordination Center (RHCC) designed to communicate and coordinate response activities during a healthcare facility disaster. The program aims to build partnerships, share resources, and coordinate local, regional, and state responses. To learn more about the program click this link and visit the regional information page to learn about healthcare coalitions.
Matt Allen, VHHA Assistant Director, Emergency Preparedness