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November 19, 2012 (Cleveland)
The Center Responds to Member Hospitals During Superstorm Sandy

CHAMPS Oncology NewsDuring Superstorm Sandy, The Center for Health Affairs’ Emergency Preparedness Team was hard at work in an effort to ensure member hospitals had a go-to resource for the latest information on county and regional activities.

When news surfaced Monday, Oct. 29 that Superstorm Sandy was going to hit Northeast Ohio, Beth Gatlin, director, emergency preparedness and Andrea Bishop, manager, emergency preparedness, filled their seats at the Cuyahoga County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to serve as communication liaisons for The Center’s member hospitals.

“We’ve become part of our hospital’s preparedness plans, so in an event such as Superstorm Sandy, our goal is to make communication and situational awareness easier for our hospitals,” Gatlin said. “In this response, we gathered details including where the nearest shelters were and if there were any issues such as utility failures or injuries reported, then we provided that information to our members, the Emergency Management Agency and the Ohio Department of Health, as well as answered any questions or concerns each of them may have had on behalf of hospitals in the region. This saves a lot of time in commentary to several agencies by wrapping up all the information into one situational report for the region.”

Overall, hospitals experienced minimal issues during Superstorm Sandy. “Three of our member hospitals were on generator power for a short time and at least one had to move patients horizontally to different rooms due to some major window, door and wall leakage caused by the high winds,” Gatlin said.

 “When events like Superstorm Sandy occur, it’s rewarding to know that our contacts in the hospitals trust in The Center and look to us as the experts and the go-to resource to get them what they need,” Gatlin said. “It proves our planning and hard work has paid off.”

The Center’s Northeast Ohio Emergency Preparedness Initiative is committed to assisting the region’s hospitals in reaching individual, regional and statewide goals in order to reduce patient morbidity and mortality and improve the region’s overall ability to respond to emergencies and major events. The long-term goal of the Center’s Northeast Ohio Emergency Preparedness Initiative is to establish and improve Northeast Ohio hospitals’ level of preparedness, ability to respond and recover as well as develop a regional hospital network that is able to work together and with other response partners in times of disaster.

To learn more about The Center’s Northeast Ohio Emergency Preparedness Initiative or about the Superstorm Sandy response, please contact Beth Gatlin at beth.gatlin@chanet.org, 216.255.3665, or Andrea Bishop at andrea.bishop@chanet.org, 216.255.3662.

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