The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) announced a grant opportunity for state governments to better identify and address gaps in coordinated patient care during disasters through the establishment and maturation of a Regional Disaster Health Response System. Eligible applicants are a partnership entity between state governments, representatives from at least one hospital, an additional local healthcare facility, and a political subdivision. This announcement is among the first steps in ASPR’s broader efforts to develop a Regional Disaster Health Response System. 

HIMSS commends ASPR’s approach to addressing preparedness and response through the lens of cutting through siloes and coordinating across the spectrum of care. The ongoing, potentially life-threatening nature of health-related crises – in particular the opioid epidemic, and onslaught of natural and manmade disasters – underscores the urgency of promoting state and local policies that further the aims of better-utilizing interoperability and data-sharing, across health, human services and environmental sectors.  

HIMSS’ Building Community-based Solutions to Connect the Spectrum of Care, led by members of the State Advisory Roundtable and Chapter Advocates, is one of the ways HIMSS is connecting states with private sector healthcare  and information technology partners to enhance their ability to build effective cross-sector partnerships that expand information sharing and communication during emergency events. This announcement is one initial step to reach these goals of building a more connected health and human services system to more effectively prepare and respond to crises at the state and local levels.   For more information about HIMSS’ Building Community-based Solutions Initiative contact Valerie Rogers, Director, HIMSS State Government Affairs.