HHS Enables Emory and Collaborators to Lead Regional Disaster Response System | Emory University


Emory University will lead a team of collaborators from the Georgia Department of Public Health, University of Augusta and University of Georgia for the most recently appointed Regional Disaster Response System (RDHRS). The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services awarded a $ 3 million cooperative agreement to the Emory-led consortium to demonstrate how an RDHRS can improve capabilities medical and clinical specialty capabilities – including trauma, burns, communicable disease, radiation injury and other specialist care – during a national emergency and save more lives.

RDHRS is rooted in the successful collaboration facilitated by state-coordinated local health care coalitions creating a tiered system of disaster care. The collaboration will seek to integrate local medical response capacities with emergency medical services, specialized care centers, laboratories and outpatient services to meet the often overwhelming health care needs created by disasters. Regional sites collaborate, facilitate information exchange, and develop contingencies to coordinate healthcare assets, including personnel and supplies in the region.

“We appreciate HHS recognition of Emory’s leadership and our region’s collaborative approach to emergency response, which strengthens our capacities in all disciplines and saves lives,” said Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, Emory Executive Vice President for Healthcare Affairs and CEO of Emory Healthcare.

Emory is the fourth regional demonstration site to be established. The HHS / ASPR also funded the Nebraska Medical Center, the Massachusetts General, and the Denver Health and Hospital Authority. The four regional recipients will build or continue to expand systems that collaborate in disaster response to support specialized clinical care; align plans, policies and procedures for clinical excellence in disasters; increase state and regional medical response capacity; improve state and regional situational awareness; and develop measures and test the capacities of the regional system.

“Natural and man-made disasters can cause hundreds or thousands of people to seek immediate medical attention,” says Alexander Isakov, MD, MPH, professor in Emory’s department of emergency medicine and executive director of the office Emory for Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR).

“Our regional partners have a successful track record of coordinating resources. This cooperation agreement with ASPR will allow us to better assess current regional capacities, improve two-way information exchange procedures and help improve surge capacity and community access needed to manage large-scale disasters. scale and those requiring specialized clinical care. Southern RDHRS aims to optimize peak clinical capacity, provide clinical expertise to support planning for healthcare peaks, and ensure that the appropriate clinical expertise is involved and empowered as a collaborator in planning and l ’emergency response,’ Isakov said.


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