$498 million to strengthen response to bioterror attacks, infectious diseases, and natural disasters

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced $498 million in awards to states, territories and four major metropolitan areas to strengthen the ability of hospitals and other health care facilities to respond to bioterror attacks, infectious diseases, and natural disasters that may cause mass casualties.

"These grants are an important addition to national security because hospitals play such a critical role in identifying and responding to a terrorist attack, an infectious disease outbreak, and natural disasters," Secretary Thompson said. "States and communities can use these funds to improve emergency care in any health crisis, whether the source is a bioterror attack or other infectious disease outbreaks like SARS or West Nile virus, or any natural disaster like a flood or hurricane."

Health departments in the states, territories and metro areas (New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles County and Washington, D.C.) receiving the federal funds will use them to improve the readiness of hospitals and other health care entities in their jurisdictions in dealing with large numbers of casualties. Recipients also will use the funds to increase coordination on disease reporting among hospitals and local and state health departments, enhance such coordination between public health laboratories and hospital-based laboratories, and harmonize the communications capabilities of these entities. Other uses for these program funds include providing behavioral health services and trauma and burn care and buying communications equipment and personal protective gear.

This is the third consecutive year that HRSA has provided funding to increase hospital preparedness, totaling more than $1.5 billion. In addition, HHS' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will soon announce its latest round of grants, estimated to be at least $844 million, bringing the total HHS investment to aiding state preparedness to more than $3.7 billion since Sept. 11, 2001.

"Hospitals will use the funds they receive from states to effect a rapid temporary expansion of bed capacity to accommodate mass casualties, increase isolation and decontamination capacity, identify qualified volunteer healthcare workers to augment hospital staff to deal with mass casualties, and plan for hospital-based and community ready pharmaceutical caches," noted Elizabeth M. Duke, Ph.D., administrator of HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration, which oversees the program.

FY 2004 awards from the Hospital Preparedness Program, created after the terrorist attacks of Sept.11, 2001, are contained in the following table:

FY 2004 Hospital Preparedness Program Funds
State, Selected Cities, Territories

State/Jurisdiction

Amount

Alabama

$7,762,315

Alaska

1,958,803

Arizona

9,030,450

Arkansas

5,077,591

California

38,773,727

Los Angeles County

15,583,364

Colorado

7,704,930

Connecticut

6,197,207

Delaware

2,205,406

District of Columbia

2,868,302

Florida

25,775,967

Georgia

13,719,390

Hawaii

2,856,721

Idaho

2,998,297

Illinois

15,875,995

Chicago

5,069,493

Indiana

10,270,929

Iowa

5,436,624

Kansas

5,088,830

Kentucky

7,156,894

Louisiana

7,764,518

Maine

2,943,648

Maryland

9,150,163

Massachusetts

10,686,180

Michigan

16,141,386

Minnesota

8,542,551

Mississippi

5,327,321

Missouri

9,530,322

Montana

2,370,015

Nebraska

3,602,747

Nevada

4,174,253

New Hampshire

2,905,650

New Jersey

13,878,940

New Mexico

3,770,553

New York

18,019,873

New York City

12,858,383

North Carolina

13,417,400

North Dakota

1,963,221

Ohio

18,234,914

Oklahoma

6,250,131

Oregon

6,255,978

Pennsylvania

19,616,940

Rhode Island

2,603,466

South Carolina

7,146,769

South Dakota

2,147,489

Tennessee

9,699,934

Texas

33,338,368

Utah

4,448,125

Vermont

1,927,552

Virginia

11,890,053

Washington

10,069,141

West Virginia

3,725,218

Wisconsin

9,180,227

Wyoming

1,747,144

Territories

 

American Samoa

601,511

Guam

738,414

Puerto Rico

6,808,171

Northern Marianas Islands

612,902

Virgin Islands (U.S.)

684,929

Freely Associated States

 

Federated States of Micronesia

703,671

Marshall Islands

581,705

Palau

528,890

TOTAL:

$498,000,000

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