The Center’s Emergency Preparedness ProgramThe Center for Health Affairs' Emergency Preparedness program plays a key role in improving the level of emergency preparedness in Northeast Ohio by working with area hospitals to increase their capacity and capability to respond to and recover from natural and man-made disasters. Since 2003, The Center’s emergency preparedness experts have served as the regional healthcare coordinators for 27 acute-care hospitals over a five-county region including Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain. Funds for this emergency preparedness program are made possible by the Ohio Department of Health, the U.S. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire killed 146 young garment workers and drove the establishment of the National Fire Protection Association Committee on Safety to Life, the author and caretaker of today’s Life Safety Code, NFPA 101.
The Life Safety Code, in varying editions, is a national standard for healthcare providers, as compliance is required or referenced in-part by legislation in most states.
To the contrary, requiring healthcare providers to prepare for disasters and public health emergencies gets little more than lip service from the states and is not a Condition of Participation for CMS – yet. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Program was established by enactment of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.
The PHEP program is a critical source of funding, guidance, and technical assistance for state, territorial, and local public health departments. In 2011, to help public health departments with their strategic planning, the CDC identified 15 public health preparedness capabilities to serve as national public health preparedness standards.
Beginning in 2012 the PHEP program is funded via a joint cooperative agreement award and aligned with the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP). Funding for the program is routed through state public health departments via cooperative agreement with a requirement that states provide sub grants to local health departments requiring deliverables consistent with the federal strategy.

The CDC recently announced that because Congress has failed to provide emergency supplemental funding for Zika research and response, as requested by the White House, they are shifting $44.2 million from state public health emergency preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreements to pay the tab. Because of the Congressionally mandated PHEP formula, the cuts are not equally distributed across the board. Unless states are able to absorb the hit by reducing internal operating cost, which is highly unlikely in the current economic environment, the cuts will impact local health department sub grants. Yes, there’s still an outside chance of a Zika appropriations bill that could mitigate the damage.
Describe their top jurisdictional strategic priorities for the remainder of the project period. Awardees must update their multiyear training and exercise plans (TEPs) to reflect planned activities.
Conduct the following exercises and provide results to CDC, (1) One MCM distribution full-scale exercise (FSE) during the current project period, (2) One MCM dispensing FSE conducted in each CRI MSA during the current project period.
CDC’s Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) for Infectious Diseases cooperative agreement.
In this role, the team assists hospitals in strengthening their abilities to respond to disastrous events through planning, coordination, collaboration and grant administration.
It is also referenced by the the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) through its Conditions of Participation for the Medicare and Medicaid programs and accreditation organizations like the Joint Commission.
Preparedness activities funded by the PHEP program are targeted specifically for the development of emergency-ready public health departments that are flexible and adaptable.

State and local jurisdictions can use CDC's Public Health Preparedness Capabilities: National Standards for State and Local Planning to better organize their work and identify the capabilities they have the resources to build or sustain. PHEP program guidance assists the 62 PHEP awardees in demonstrating measurable and sustainable progress toward achieving the 15 public health preparedness capabilities and other activities that promote safer and more resilient communities.
Though there's no direct cut, expect collateral damage from bleed-over in state operational cost, as many state preparedness positions are now dual funded.
But, without state and local awardees making their voices heard to their Congressional representatives, such action is highly unlikely. In addition, awardees must submit any follow-up data needed to better inform the PIRA baseline data.
Through CRI, state and metropolitan public health departments have developed plans to respond to a large-scale bioterrorist event by dispensing antibiotics to the entire population of an identified MSA with 48 hours. These standards help ensure that federal preparedness funds are directed to priority areas within individual jurisdictions.

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