The mission of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management (MDPH OPEM) is to build resilience and ensure that all people in the Commonwealth can prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate emergencies that affect their health and welfare. OPEM accomplishes this by working effectively with all partners to plan for and support responses to any and all hazards that impact public health.
During this five-year Cooperative Agreement, MDPH will aim to improve the capacity of the health care system to plan for and respond to large-scale emergencies and disasters. MDPH has developed a Budget Period 1 (BP1) work plan and budget focused upon the implementation of select objectives and activities to strengthen and enhance the acute care medical surge capacity through the maintenance and growth of strong Health Care Coalitions (HCCs) through the framework of the four health care preparedness and response capabilities:
Capability 1: Foundation for Health Care and Medical Readiness
Capability 2: Health Care and Medical Response Coordination
Capability 3: Continuity of Health Care Service Delivery
Capability 4: Medical Surge
While the emphasis in preceding funding periods has focused on enhancing regional health care planning and preparedness and the initial establishment of Health and Medical Coordinating Coalitions (HMCCs), in the next five years MDPH will work to create a single, statewide HCC to improve patient outcomes, minimize the need for federal and supplemental state resources during emergencies, and enable rapid recovery from catastrophic events. The Massachusetts HCC will help patients receive the care they need at the right place, at the right time, and with the right resources, during emergencies; decrease deaths, injuries, and illnesses resulting from emergencies; and promote health care delivery system resilience in the aftermath of emergencies.
During BP1, MDPH and the Massachusetts HCC will develop governing documents to be incorporated into a Preparedness Plan, complete a Hazard Vulnerability Analysis, develop and test a pediatric surge plan, conduct the coalition surge test and complete the HCC Surge Estimator Tool. Co-lead hospitals will be identified and a clinical advisor identified. The Massachusetts HCC will integrate with the Regional Disaster Health Response System and collaborate with the two Federal Coordination Centers in the Commonwealth.
During BP1, MDPH will monitor and evaluate progress with implementing the Health Care Preparedness and Response Capabilities by designing and implementing a program evaluation and monitoring system. This will provide a strong foundation to ensure the MDPH OPEM preparedness program is in line with intended goals and provides a means to collect reporting and program measures from local health and the tribes to ensure that deliverables are being met in a consistent, efficient and effective manner.