Bringing Calm to Chaos: HICS & the Coronavirus Pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact society, hospitals and healthcare systems are facing a myriad of challenges. Effective leadership is needed to ensure continued health care operations, access to critical medications and personal protective equipment, and overall viability of the health care system. The hospital incident command system (HICS) was designed decades ago to provide a decision-making framework to manage incidents and disasters. Now, more than ever, health care systems are relying on HICS to help meet the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hospital Resilience, Operational Perspectives From COVID-19

The concept of hospital resilience has changed in light of COVID-19. Despite planning and training for unexpected worst cast scenarios, one key assumption was not consistent with this pandemic response – that not everyone would be affected worldwide. The traditional “essential employees” changed, which left some gaps in filling the new essential roles. Preplanned mutual aid and supply chains were not able to function as planned and exercised. Some agencies focused on the roles within the Incident Command System and lost site of the principles behind it.

Acceptable Loss: Presentations From Experts

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised many discussions on the topic of acceptable losses. For community decision makers, this is a difficult yet necessary issue to consider before making decisions that may have life-threatening consequences. Spurred by two articles and followed up with a nationwide survey and report, this podcast was presented at the National Homeland Security Association’s virtual conference in July and is now available as a rebroadcast of commentary by leading healthcare experts.

What Happens in Vegas: Harvest Music Festival Mass Shooting

While much of the news media has been focused on the coronavirus pandemic, violent incidents continue to occur throughout the United States. The shutdown of sporting events, schools, concerts, and other large events has led to an overall decrease in active shooter incidents. In fact, March 2020 was the first March without a school shooting since 2002.

Opioid Epidemic & Narcan’s Unintended Consequences

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency related to the opioid crisis. Indeed, overdoses and deaths from opioids have skyrocketed over the past decade. In 2017, deaths from opioids were six times higher than in 1999. Opioids impact the quality of life and longevity, as well as have tremendous social and economic impacts on communities throughout the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that the total economic burden of prescription opioid misuse costs over $78 billion per year.

Pandemic Influenza: Advice & Suggestions From an Expert

With the myriad of threats that communities prepare for, influenza pandemic is consistently at the top of the priority list. In recent years, strains such as H7N9 and H1N1 have caused concern among health officials. It is no mystery why, considering the 1918 influenza pandemic – which infected over 500 million individuals around the world and caused tens of millions of deaths. Domestic Preparedness Advisor Andrew Roszak recently had the opportunity to sit down with one of the world’s leading pandemic experts, Dr. Lisa Koonin. Dr. Koonin recently retired from a 30-plus year career at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She was one of the leads for pandemic influenza preparedness and response efforts.

Just Another Day in the Office for the United States Coast Guard

Watching the video of crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter Munro board and interdict a self-propelled, semi-submersible drug-smuggling vessel on 18 June 2019 is exciting. Their actions were heroic and highly productive. Because of that bravery, 39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana worth a combined estimated $569 million was seized. For the average person, the video is thrilling. However, for the U.S. Coast Guard, it was just another day in the office. DomPrep salutes the men and women of the USCG who are “Always Ready” to prevent the next maritime disaster and respond to the call when needed.

Approach the Bench – Preparing Judges for Disasters & Emergencies

Underpinning any public health emergency response is a complex legal and regulatory framework. Understanding the interplay between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government is key to ensure policies and actions are based on solid legal footing. This podcast examines the role of the judicial branch and explores how the Tribal Legal Preparedness Project at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Public Health Practice is working to enhance the legal preparedness of tribal nations. There are 573 federally recognized Indian tribes across 35 states in the United States. These tribal governments are sovereign entities and operate within their own authority to create and enforce their own laws, including those that would be used to respond to public health emergencies.

Hurricanes & Islands – One Year Later

During September 2017, two major Category 5 hurricanes impacted the U.S. Virgin Islands. More than one year later, the scope, scale, and magnitude of Hurricanes Irma and Maria are still being felt. The three islands that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands – St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John – suffered prolonged critical infrastructure shortages and failures in the aftermath of the storms. A lack of reliable access to electricity and water compounded challenges as the islands sought to recover from a hurricane season that caused an estimated $282.27 billion in damage and claimed over 3,300 lives.

Public Health Preparedness: Segment 2

In 2017, many natural and manmade disasters affected communities across the United States. Each of these disasters posed many public health challenges, including funding, interagency, and workforce issues. Two subject matter experts, Director Cheryl Petersen-Kroeber from the Minnesota Department of Health’s Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response and Deputy Director Harry Bruce (Jeff) Jeffries Jr. from the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Division of Health Protection, share their lessons learned from these disasters and provide insight on public health concerns that need to be addressed. This is Segment 2 of a two-part interview.
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