The United States Congress and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have designated Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS) as a national Center for Public Health Preparedness (CPHP). YNNHS is the only hospital system in the United States that has earned the CDC-CPHP designation. YNHHS will receive $450,000 to support disaster planning from the local to the national level.
“Recent natural disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have amplified the critical necessity of this kind of hospital-based planning,” said Christopher Cannon, director of the YNHHS office of emergency preparedness. “The designation of the Connecticut Center for Public Health Preparedness was made possible through the tremendous efforts by the Connecticut Congressional delegation, who recognized our commitment to ensuring that the nation’s healthcare workforce and infrastructure will be prepared to respond efficiently to natural disasters and emergency situations.”
“As a CDC Center for Public Health Preparedness, the Yale New Haven Health System — Connecticut's leading health care system — will fortify its role as a national leader in emergency preparedness,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (Conn.-3). “The Connecticut Center for Public Health Preparedness will allow YNHHS to continue its innovative approach to health care education and to expand these resources across the country.”
Through the new Connecticut Center for Public Health Preparedness, YNHHS staff will be responsible for building collaborative regional and national healthcare response plans while assessing preparedness, providing education, and training, and conducting disaster medicine research. The Center will be available to provide guidance and recommendations to others hospitals in response to emergencies, share its clinical protocols to help deal with biological, radiation, nuclear, chemical or infectious disease emergencies, as well as provide protocols for trauma and burn scenarios, disaster-related mental health response and pediatric specialty care.
The Yale New Haven Health System’s Office of Emergency Preparedness was previously designated as one of the state’s two Centers of Excellence for Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response by the Connecticut Department of Health (DPH). As a state Center of Excellence, YNHHS works with the state of Connecticut’s Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and other health care organizations throughout New England on regional emergency preparedness partnerships. Yale New Haven Health’s designation builds upon the strength of its historic relationships with other emergency preparedness agencies.
The Center can provide expertise in emergency management curriculum development, distance learning and web-based training, as well as expertise in drills and exercises, logistical solutions, regional planning, clinical protocols, laboratory management and analysis, risk communications and evidence-based research. Among other initiatives, the Center is developing a hospital medical stockpiling strategy, assisting the state of Connecticut in creating a mobile and surge hospital (MaSH) initiative, and implementing an emergency credentialing program to certify health care professionals in advance of a disaster.