Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are getting new federal grant money to respond to bioterrorism attacks, infectious diseases and natural disasters.
HHS today awarded $430 million to states, territories and four major metropolitan areas to improve the readiness of hospitals and other healthcare facilities in their jurisdictions.
These grants are an important addition to national security because our hospitals and other healthcare facilities play such a critical role in responding to a terrorist attack, an infectious disease outbreak and natural disasters, said HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt in a written statement. States and communities can use these funds to improve emergency care during a health crisis.
Specifically, the funds are to be used for interoperable communications, systems to track available hospital beds, advance registration of volunteer health professionals, and planning for both fatality management and hospital evacuations.
Chicago, Los Angeles County, New York and Washington were among the metropolitan areas receiving grant money. The new grant money includes $15 million for HHS Healthcare Facilities Partnership Program, which awards competitive grants or cooperative agreements to healthcare partnerships to improve community and hospital preparedness for public health emergencies. HHS over the past five years has provided $2 billion in funds to increase hospital- and healthcare-facility preparedness. -- by Jennifer Lubell