Florida healthcare coalition works to share information, resources and training for disasters
| 02.15.2007 | 07:28:04 | Views: 3042 | ID:
February 15 '07: In Palm Beach County, Florida, a group of hospitals, medical responder agencies and non profit organizations have been working to share information, training experience and resources to help prepare for a medical, natural or man made disaster, the Palm Beach Post reported.
The coalition was begun shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 1, 2001 and helped to respond to the first anthrax outbreak in Atlantis' JFK Medical Center.The coalition is funded by the Palm Health Foundation. At a recent conference sponsored by the Healthcare Emergency Access Coalition of Palm Beach County, about 75 people attended - representatives from "hospitals and more than a dozen county emergency response agencies such as the American Red Cross and the county Health Department." To help with communications and situational awareness during emergencies, backup radio networks have been installed in the event cell phones are not useable. As well, "the coalition has run several drills to simulate chemical terrorism and an evacuation for people living near Lake Okeechobee." Working with the coalition, one area hospital chain HCA Inc. told the Post, that the experience from the training exercises and information provided by the coalition has helped them to realize the importance of stockpiling drugs, setting up radio communications equipment and satellite phones as well as creating thorough emergency response plans.
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