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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
|Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. |
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TRENTON – Clifton R. Lacy, M.D., Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), announced today that the Department is awarding nearly $7.3 million in grants to 82 New Jersey hospitals and 13 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) to augment their ability to respond to public health emergencies.
The announcement was made today at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. Commissioner Lacy and the press viewed emergency equipment at St. Barnabas, including a 400-square-foot inflatable multipurpose tent equipped with a hot water shower system for decontamination.
“We cannot predict the occurrence of emergencies or acts of terrorism, but we must be prepared for them,” said New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey. “This funding will be used to build on the current strength of our facilities, equipment, and healthcare personnel throughout the state.”
“New Jersey has been challenged by emerging infectious diseases like West Nile Virus and SARS, and was the epicenter of anthrax bioterrorism,” said Commissioner Lacy. “Because of our location, population density, and potential terrorist targets, our state must continue to be at the forefront of preparedness nationally. These grants are critical for enhancing hospital readiness for health threats, both natural and intentional.”
Funding to St. Barnabas Health Care System will be used to expand decontamination, respiratory, and isolation capacities, and to purchase personal protective equipment for health care personnel, portable and fixed decontamination structures, and back-up power equipment.
Ronald J. Del Mauro, president and CEO of St. Barnabas Health Care System, said the reality of the post-9/11 world necessitates that public health be prepared for all emergencies. “While we all hope these measures will never need to be activated, the Saint Barnabas Health Care System and the State of New Jersey are well prepared with an unprecedented level of readiness," Del Mauro said.
The grants were made available through a state appropriation in Governor McGreevey’s FY 2004 budget. Acute care hospitals and FQHCs were eligible to apply for the funding. The one-time awards range from $5,000 to $165,000, and will be used to strengthen the New Jersey health care system’s response to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive incidents.
Funding to the Plainfield Neighborhood Health Services will be used to construct respiratory isolation rooms and obtain personal protective equipment for health care personnel.
FQHCs provide comprehensive primary medical care services with a culturally sensitive, family-oriented focus to anyone needing care, regardless of ability to pay. These centers tailor their services to meet the specific needs of the community and its special populations that, for the most part, include the homeless, migrant and seasonal farm workers, HIV/AIDS patients, the underserved and the uninsured. (View the FQHC award list).
The DHSS required all grant applicants to assess and document how the purchase of identified supplies and equipment would augment the current disaster plan; enhance current capacity for emergency care, treatment of mass casualties, and management of infectious diseases; upgrade disease control and decontamination facilities; contribute to regionalized public health response.
Detailed lists of the FQHC (www.nj.gov/health/er/fqhc_awards.pdf) and hospital
(www.nj.gov/health/er/hospital_awards.pdf ) grants are on the department’s web site.
In addition to the grants announced today, the State of New Jersey has also dedicated the following funding to hospitals in New Jersey:
For more information on New Jersey’s preparedness efforts, visit the Department web site at www.state.nj.us/health.
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360