New Hampshire hospitals are a critical element within the state’s disaster medical response system and work collaboratively with local government, other health care providers and federal, state, regional and local agencies to plan. prepare for and respond to disasters, bioterrorism, and other public emergencies, like the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospital emergency preparedness is a focus area for government at all levels, as well as an accrediting agencies. Hospitals must respond to increasing preparedness standards and activities, while simultaneously providing effective service to their patients and their communities.
To ensure a comprehensive, statewide response to residents’ health needs in an emergency, the NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) selected the Granite State Health Care Coalition, an initiative of the Foundation for Healthy Communities, to coordinate emergency response and recovery efforts by health care organizations for the state of New Hampshire. Awarded in 2017 and again in 2022, this grant funds hospital and other health care provider emergency preparedness activities through the Hospital Preparedness Program under the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. GSHCC carries forward the 20+ year history of work of the New Hampshire Hospital Association in support of emergency preparedness and created an even more comprehensive network of health care partners, public health agencies and emergency management officials to enhance emergency preparedness, response, and recovery efforts in the state.
NHHA provides ongoing support to New Hampshire’s hospitals in emergency planning and response through its collaborations with the Granite State Health Care Coalition and other stakeholders to identify risks and address resource needs; ensure the continuity of health care service delivery during emergencies; and to coordinate resources and strategies that allow the health care continuum to maintain services during patient surges. This support includes clinical leadership engagement, data collection, communications, and acting as a public health liaison. Past examples include 9/11, influenza, SARS, anthrax, smallpox, Ebola, Zika, and most recently COVID-19 and Monkeypox. High threat infectious diseases, natural disasters or man-made disasters can happen at any time and NHHA stands ready to rally our membership together to meet any and all challenges.