Health care professionals protect the health of Vermonters through efforts to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters, infectious disease, terrorism and mass casualty emergencies. The Health Department supports these efforts in many ways: it serves as the coordinating unit for the State Support Function 8, maintains the Health Alert Network, and serves as the grantee for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the U.S. Health & Human Services health preparedness grants. The Health Department offers technical support for preparedness such as planning, exercises and training so Vermont can be ready if and when emergencies arise.
Health Department staff deploy to the State Emergency Operations Center to work in conjunction with other state support functions activated during an emergency. State Support Function 8 provides the mechanism for coordinated state assistance to supplement local resources in response to a public health and medical disaster, potential or actual incidents requiring a coordinated state response or during a developing potential health and medical emergency. Services cover the medical needs of people in the “at risk” or “special needs” populations described in the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 and in the National Response Framework Glossary, respectively. It includes a population whose members may have medical and other functional needs before, during, and after an incident.
Health Care Professionals can access State Support Function 8 staff through the State Emergency Operations Center if activated, or through the Watch Officer Program at Vermont Emergency Management by calling 1-800-347-0488. Please ensure that this information is contained in your response plans.
The Vermont Health Alert Network (VTHAN) is an alert and mass notification system that improves public health communication and situational awareness within the State of Vermont. For information or assistance, contact the HAN Administrator at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The department supports health care professionals with planning, training and exercising. An important part of all three is guided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Emergency Preparedness Rule.
Ensure you and your facility have all the necessary resources and tools to meet the regulations for the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule, which went into effect in 2016. Surveys started in 2017.
For tips and resources, the Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has created a Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Informaion Exchange (TRACIE).
The four core elements of the CMS emergency preparedness rule for all 17 provider types include:
- Emergency Plan – EOP Tools and Templates, Hazard Vulnerability/ Risk Assessments, Continuity of Operations
- Policies and Procedures – Incident Managment
- Communications Plan – Information Sharing, Communication Systems
- Training and Testing – Incident Command System Training Course for Healthcare/Hospital, Exercise Program
Contact one of our district offices if you have specific questions or need help with any emergency preparedness planning, training or exercises.
For questions or concerns about the CMS regulatory process please email Division of Licensing and Protection Survey and Certification Group at email@example.com.