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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
July 11, 2005

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Thomas Slater
609-984-7160


 
DHSS Awards $6.1 Million in Grants to New Jersey Health Care Facilities To Enhance Emergency Preparedness Capabilities


 

 

TRENTON – As part of the New Jersey’s continued emergency preparedness efforts, the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has awarded $6.1 million in grants to acute care hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) around the state to boost their capacity for preparedness and response to public health emergencies.

 

The grants were awarded to 80 New Jersey acute care hospitals and 12 FQHCs to enhance their capabilities to respond to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive incidents.

 

“We cannot predict the occurrence of emergencies, but we must be prepared for them,” said New Jersey Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. “Because of our location, population density, and potential terrorist targets, New Jersey must continue to be at the forefront of preparedness nationally.  These grants are critical for enhancing healthcare facility readiness.”

 

 “As New Jersey continues to prepare for all public health emergencies, including terrorism, it is important that our health care facilities are prepared to both prevent and treat disease outbreaks as well as protecting health care professionals who work at these facilities,” said DHSS Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D. “This funding builds on the current strength of our health care systems which provides dedicated service throughout the state.”

 

The grants were made available through a state appropriation in New Jersey’s FY 2005 budget. Acute care hospitals and FQHCs were eligible to apply for the funding. Hospitals received up to $75,000 each and FQHCs received up to $20,000 each. Last year, DHSS awarded $7.3 million to healthcare facilities to upgrade preparedness capacity.


The funding can be used by facilities to purchase necessary equipment and supplies to treat mass casualties, and for facility upgrades related to disease control, emergency care or decontamination. Funds may also be used for staff education and training, to conduct preparedness drills and exercises, and to enhance security practices at the facility.

 

With last year’s funding, New Jersey health care facilities purchased personal protective equipment for health care workers, upgraded negative pressure facilities, renovated air intake systems, upgraded or purchased decontamination units and upgraded hospital laboratories.

 

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; and contribute to regionalized public health response.

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.

 

Detailed lists of the FQHC (http://www.nj.gov/health/er/documents/fqhc_awards.pdf) and hospital (http://www.nj.gov/health/er/documents/hospitals_awards.pdf) are on the NJ DHSS website.

In addition to the grants announced today, over the last three years, the State of New Jersey has also dedicated the following funding to hospitals in New Jersey:

  • $7.5 million for development of public health emergency regional coordination centers.
  • $2 million for personal protective equipment, decontamination and emergency preparedness.
  • $2 million for the strategic state stockpile of medications, vaccines, antidotes, and safety equipment for use during health emergencies.
  • $1.2 million for hospital to enhance their smallpox preparedness planning efforts.

For more information on New Jersey’s preparedness efforts, visit the Department web site at www.state.nj.us/health.

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