Over the past twenty-three years, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) has made great strides in public health and healthcare emergency preparedness and response, leveraging funding from the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP), Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), and Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) cooperative agreements, as well as response-specific funding, to build a preparedness and response enterprise that includes plans, training, exercises, systems, and processes that incorporate the subject matter expertise of a myriad of internal and external partners and stakeholders. This application lays the groundwork for RIDOH to maximize its existing resources, building upon its current public health emergency management program, and expand as necessary to robustly and rapidly mobilize, surge, and respond to public health emergencies.
Funding from this award will be used to help ensure that RIDOH and its partners have appropriate support to improve and enhance the existing capabilities of RI’s public health and healthcare systems when responding to an evolving infectious disease threat or other large-scale emergency. RIDOH and its partners will strive to execute an effective response that will enable us to prevent or reduce morbidity and mortality from public health incidents whose scale, rapid onset, or unpredictability stresses the public health and health care systems and to ensure the earliest possible recovery and return of the public health and health care systems to pre-incident levels or improved functioning.
As indicated in the funding announcement, the outcomes to be addressed are:
• Prioritize public health services and resources sustained throughout all phases of emergencies and incidents
• Earliest possible activation and management of emergency operations
• Timely communication of risk and essential elements of information
• Timely implementation of intervention and control measures
• Timely coordination and support of response activities with partners
• Earliest possible identification and investigation of an incident
• Continuous learning and improvements contain real-time feedback loop