In the immediate aftermath of events of 9-11 and the anthrax attacks, the need for better collaboration and coordination by hospitals, EMS, and public health departments was recognized in lessons learned by those involved communities. Our community was no exception. Planning efforts in our region were underway prior 2001; however, the events of 2001 changed everything. Hospitals across the region recognized the importance of planning for disaster. How would healthcare institutions, public health and first responders coordinate their efforts for a unified response to future events? How would we ensure we were prepared?
Funding ensued in the form of HRSA and later ASPR grants, funding the region’s Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), allocated to our region through the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association supporting the grant awardee, Virginia Department of Health. This program and its initiatives, derived from the National Guidance for Healthcare System Preparedness January 2012, promote whole community collaboration in the Emergency Management cycle (protection, preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation) through the establishment of Healthcare Coalitions. Our region transitioned from the combined preparedness efforts of the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Medical Response System Healthcare Committee and the Eastern Region Hospital Emergency Preparedness Coordinating Group to the Eastern Virginia Healthcare Coalition (EVHC) with the approval of a charter on August 1, 2013. It is the intent of EVHC to promote and sustain the collaboration of healthcare organizations and providers, public health departments, and community partners working together to care for our community before, during and after an emergency.
- The Eastern Virginia Healthcare Coalition endeavors to develop and promote the emergency preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery capabilities of local healthcare entities by: strengthening community medical resiliency; surge capacity and capabilities; building relationships and partnerships; developing emergency preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery capability guidelines; facilitating communication, information and resource sharing; maximizing utilization of existing resources; coordinating training, drills, and exercises; and supporting the Regional Healthcare Coordinating Centers (RHCC).
- The Coalition is a geographically inclusive body open to all organizations/entities that provide or support health services within the following 26 jurisdictions of Eastern Virginia that wish to work collaboratively on emergency preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery activities: Accomack County, Chesapeake, Essex County, Franklin, Gloucester County, Hampton, Isle of Wight County, James City County, King and Queen County, King William County, Lancaster County, Matthews County, Middlesex County, Newport News, Norfolk, Northampton County, Northumberland County, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Richmond County, Southampton County, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Westmoreland County, Williamsburg, and York County.
- EVHC has a membership that includes: core and partner organizations and entities; a Healthcare Preparedness Coordinator and staff including an Exercise and Training Specialist, Mitigation and Recovery Specialist, Long Term Care Preparedness Coordinator, part-time communications specialist, part-time inventory management specialist and a part-time RHCC Manager; a Chair and Vice-Chair for committee meeting facilitation and oversight; an Executive Council to conduct Coalition business as directed by the membership; and subcommittees and standing workgroups.
- EVHC includes facility partners that serve approximately 1.8 million residents over 5177 square miles, ranging from urban, suburban, and rural communities. Coalition partners include; 19 hospitals, 3 free-standing Emergency Departments, a VA hospital, and 4 DoD facilities, providing 3500 acute care beds and providing approximately 750,000 ED visits and 164,000 admissions annually.
- EVHC key services noted as priorities with stakeholders include: development of coordinated plans and policies; coordination of regional communications systems and mechanisms for information sharing; identification and sharing of best practices and lessons learned; coordination of training, education and exercises; response coordination providing logistic support and sharing of essential elements of information; grant management; and advocacy and marketing.
Contact Information . . .Eastern Virginia Healthcare Coalition1104 Madison Plaza Suite 201Chesapeake, VA 23320
Telephone: 757 963-0632
Fax: 757 963-2325
Office hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm except for holidays
The Eastern Virginia Healthcare Coalition is supported by the Tidewater EMS Council through an agreement with the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association and in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Health.