Hospital Preparedness Program Funds Boost Efforts
Federal Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) funds have historically helped prepare the state for natural disaster response. However, President Trump has proposed cuts to HPP, as well as two other medical preparedness programs.
The following appeared today in the New York Times:
Those programs helped establish emergency medical task forces that have dispatched ambulances, personnel and equipment from throughout the state.
Hilary Watt, executive director of the Coastal Bend Regional Advisory Council, also used those funds to purchase special sleds and stretchers that allow extremely overweight people to be transported, after she read about the death of one heavy man at a hospital after Katrina when doctors could not figure out how to move him. Ms. Watt spread those stretchers strategically through ambulance services in her region.
As Harvey approached, she called on those ambulance teams. Five patients were moved from Rockport and Aransas Pass in the hours before the storm, likely saving the patients' lives when the hurricane roared ashore there as a category 4.
“We've definitely learned from the unfortunate outcomes in other areas,” Ms. Watt said.