HHS Continues Medical Response to Terrorist Attacks
HHS yesterday continued to respond to the aftermath of Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. In an address yesterday to the department's 63,000 employees, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson said that the department will "go the extra mile to help those in need." He added, "The Department of Health and Human Services has begun the healing process in America, and we must see it through." According to an HHS press release, the department's response as of mid-Wednesday includes:
- The HHS Office of Emergency Preparedness has deployed 328 medical staff members from disaster readiness teams and 270 mortuary services staff members to New York City and the Washington, D.C., area.
- HHS has sent five Disaster Medical Assistance Teams and four Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams to the New York area and three disaster medical teams and three disaster mortuary teams to the Washington, D.C., area.
- HHS has placed the PHS Commissioned Corps, which includes 5,700 staff members, on readiness alert.
- The CDC sent four epidemiologists and two laboratory experts to New York City to help determine "medical needs and capacity" in area hospitals.
- The CDC sent 11 technical service staff members to help distribute medical supplies and an emergency response specialist to help the New York City Department of Health coordinate emergency efforts.
- The CDC activated the Health Alert Network, which provides rapid information to state and local health departments, and issued a precautionary advisory to state and local health departments "to be alert to any unusual disease symptoms."
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent five staff members to help in the Edison, N.J., response center established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- HHS has continued to help major blood centers to ensure that they have "adequate" supplies (HHS release, 9/12).
This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.