HHS announces preparedness grants for public health, hospitals

first_imgJun 3, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced that it is allocating states and major metropolitan areas $1.1 billion to strengthen public health preparedness and help healthcare facilities respond to emergency events such as an influenza pandemic or terrorist attack.”States and local communities need to be supported because they are on the front lines of response in a health emergency,” HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said in an HHS press release today. “These funds will continue to enhance community readiness by increasing the capabilities of health departments, hospitals, and healthcare delivery systems to respond to any public health emergency.”HHS earmarked $1.1 billion for two related cooperative agreement programs: Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP), administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), managed by the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).Public health departments depend on cooperative health agreements to build capacity.Budget support for building capacityHHS said it allocated $704.8 million in PHEP funds to states, territories, and certain metropolitan areas, which is down from $896 million the agency granted in 2007. However, last year’s amount included $175 million for pandemic influenza preparedness.Focus areas for this year’s funds include:· Integrating public health, public, and private capabilities with other first responder systems· Addressing the needs of vulnerable populations in the event of a public health emergency· Ensuring that state, local, and tribal groups coordinate their planning on preparedness and response activities.The metropolitan areas that receive PHEP funding include New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles County, and Washington, DC. Grant amounts ranged from $330,743 for the territory of Palau to $50,161,370 for California.Renewed funding for surge capacityHHS started ramping up its funding for healthcare facility preparedness after the Sep 11 and anthrax attacks in 2001. The grant award, designed to boost surge capacity, this year is $398 million, down from $430 million in 2007.Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonprofit public health advocacy group based in Washington, DC, has voiced concerns about the state of hospital preparedness over the past few years in its annual reports called “Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism.”Most of the goals for the funds are the same as last year: development of or improvement in interoperable communication systems, bolstering hospital bed tracking systems, preregistration of healthcare volunteers, processes for hospital evacuations or sheltering-in-place, and fatality management. An added focus this year is strengthening community healthcare partnerships, HHS said.The same metropolitan areas that receive PHEP funding receive healthcare facility preparedness grants. Overall, grant awards ranged from $273,894 for Palau to $32,625,884 for California.A change this year for both programs is a new accountability program, which was stipulated in the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act. HHS said it could withhold funds from states, territories, or cities that don’t meet performance measures.Downward funding trendsIn February, TFAH issued an analysis of the Bush administration’s budget proposals for 2009 in which it raised concerns over shrinking funding levels for public health preparedness and hospital readiness programs. Over the past 5 years, the funding level has been reduced by one-third, according to a TFAH press release that accompanied the analysis.At about the same time, a report from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) said that the cuts have impaired local preparedness efforts.Cuts in federal preparedness funding threatens the gains that many states have made, TFAH director Jeff Levi said in December 2007 when the group released its fifth annual readiness report.Rich Hamburg, director of governmental relations for TFAH, told CIDRAP News today that the amounts of today’s grants were about what the group had expected.See also:Jun 3 HHS press releaseJul 11, 2007, CIDRAP news story “HHS to give states $430 million for hospital preparedness”Jul 18, 2007, CIDRAP news story “HHS, DHS fund public health preparedness and emergency response”Feb 4 TFAH press releaselast_img read more

Wedding Ring Turns Up Under Fort Lauderdale Restaurant After Three Years

first_img“We were cleaning up the debris down there and we noticed a bit of a sparkle and we picked up a ring,” he says. “Once we washed it off we realized there was an engraving on the inside.” While serving take-out meals recently during the coronavirus pandemic, Coconuts manager Ryan Krivoy was also replacing the wooden deck on the restaurant’s patio. Krivoy says he plans to put the treasures in the tip jar to help his staff. The restaurant found more than just the ring under the deck, Krivoy adds. “We found a couple of $100 bills,” he adds. “I don’t know how those got down there.” The engraving read, “Mike & Lisa 08-21-15.” The staff began their mission to find the ring’s owner. “We took to Facebook and basically put the post up as a long shot,” says marketing manager Sasha Formica. “That was on Monday and on [Thursday] Lisa called the restaurant.” The coins were minted with a value of $2.50, but now range from $200 to more than $2,000, according to various estimates.center_img A man who vacationed in Fort Lauderdale never thought he would see his wedding ring again after he lost it three years ago.Then, a local restaurant came to the rescue during an unlikely time. “We found a lot of change obviously, but as we’re cleaning off the change we actually found a gold coin,” he said. “After doing a little research, it was a quarter eagle [coin] from 1855.” “She called and said, ‘You’re not going to believe this, but I’m Lisa,’” Formica explains.Courtesy: Coconuts Restaurant/Facebook Lisa texted pictures of the ring and she and her husband eating at Coconuts in 2017 in order to prove that she was the real owner. The wedding band had slipped off her husband’s greasy fingers and rolled between the wooden floorboards, she said. The post had been shared about 5,000 times, and found its way to the married couple, who live in New York. The wedding ring was sent back to the couple Friday via certified mail.last_img read more