The North Dakota (ND) Department of Health (NDDoH) integrates emergency preparedness with many other state agencies including the ND Department of Emergency Services, ND Highway Patrol, ND Department of Transportation, NDDoH Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), ND Long Term Care Association, NDDoH Emergency Medical Services, ND Department of Human Services, U. S. Department of Agriculture, and the NDDoH Medical Services Section. The annual statewide assessments conducted with the ND Department of Emergency Services and other public health agencies have determined areas of concern in North Dakota.
Concentration on the PHEP domains and capabilities throughout the project period will strengthen state, local tribal and territorial public health preparedness and response capability through a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluation and taking corrective action. Our goals are to achieve established operational readiness in all capabilities by the end of the project period and sustain substantial, measurable progress across all six domains. These outcomes will prevent or reduce morbidity and mortality from public health incidents and result in the earliest possible recovery to pre-incident levels or improved functioning.
Partners and stakeholders will be involved with several exercises and training opportunities that are planned throughout the state with PHEP program staff organizing the events. After-action reports and improvement plans (AARs/IPs) will be developed and utilized for shared plans aimed at responding to and recovering from disaster and public health emergencies.
The Statewide Response Team (SRT) for public health has been chosen by state health and medical professionals as the local subject matter experts for the PHEP program. These professional team members have become recognized for their expertise to integrate preparedness efforts across the state and to broaden advisory disciplines to leverage resources to the maximum extent possible. The SRT are required to attend a specific 20-hour training focusing on proficiency and hands-on skills required with State Medical Cache equipment. The SRT participate with Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) missions and become temporary state employees to deploy with other state personnel to provide mutual aid.
There will be a statewide, full-scale exercise in 2020 to enhance the capability procedures to medical countermeasure distribution and dispensing for emergency preparedness. Instruction for receiving, staging and storing the national stockpile will be held at the NDDoH warehouse with participation from several community partners. During this budget period there will be purposeful review of the policies and procedures necessary for isolation, quarantine, school closures, and large event cancellations during a disease outbreak. Attendees will address identified improvement areas from the most recent national health information and there will be discussion with the Department of Human Service to assist with evaluation of existing practices at the child care centers during health and medical emergencies.
The North Dakota State Medical Cache is the most important element of our state’s health and medical response system. It is paramount that continued training and exercising with equipment and assets in the Medical Cache are completed so that the capacity, capability and recovery aspects have been executed for improvements and enhancements for public health emergencies. State Medical Cache assets and equipment are used to participate in and assist with the exercises held throughout the state that are required for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) national compliance authorization.