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NJHA to enhance statewide emergency preparedness with $3.1M NJDOH grant
NJBIZ - 7/30/2019
The New Jersey Department of Health announced on Wednesday it awarded the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) a $3.1 million grant to enhance statewide hospital and public health emergency preparedness by way of health care coalitions.
Through a cooperative agreement with the Department’s Office of Disaster Resilience, NJHA will build acute care medical surge capacity by working with stakeholders to create, maintain and grow health care coalitions that will identify gaps and share best practices by working with local partners. This work will bolster the state’s health care and public health emergency management system by enhancing medical readiness, response coordination, continuity of health care service and medical surge capacity.
"The success of a public health emergency response relies on the strength of our preparedness planning efforts," said interim Acting Commissioner Marcela Ospina Maziarz in a statement.
"NJHA's leadership in creating strong, sustainable health care coalitions will help ensure New Jersey is in the best position to respond to natural and manmade disasters," Maziarz said.
“NJHA is a critical partner in ensuring the state is able to adequately respond and meet the emergency needs we may face in the future. We are confident this new initiative will enhance partnerships with current stakeholders and our preparedness efforts to make us a stronger, more resilient state,” said Christopher Neuwirth, assistant commissioner of the Department’s Division of Public Health, Infrastructure, Laboratories and Emergency Preparedness (PHILEP).
NJHA was awarded this grant funding through a competitive bid process.
The goal of health care coalitions is to foster enhanced collaboration among health care organizations whose work during disasters and emergencies may exceed the day-to-day capacity and capability of individual health care and emergency response systems.
“For nearly 20 years, NJHA has maintained an emergency management team that provides 24/7 support to health care providers, communities and public health partners during emergencies big and small. That system has faced its biggest tests and shown its greatest strength in major events such as Superstorm Sandy or the Ebola crisis,” said Cathleen Bennett, NJHA president and chief executive officer. “Coordination and surge capacity are essential to protecting the people of New Jersey in times of emergency and crisis, and we appreciate the opportunity to work collaboratively with the stakeholder community in safeguarding the people and communities that we serve.”
On July 1, 2018, the department condensed five pre-existing regional health care coalitions into one known as the New Jersey Health Care and Public Health Collaborative. The multidisciplinary group of stakeholders was comprised of 12 specialty workgroups representing acute care hospitals, local and county public health, emergency medical services, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), mental health, long-term care facilities, home care agencies and dialysis centers, according to the department.
After considerable research, analysis and consultation with federal and local stakeholders, the Office of Disaster Resilience developed a new framework earlier this month that will re-establish coalitions through this cooperative agreement while integrating health care and public health stakeholders within New Jersey.
CREDIT: Anthony Vecchione