(PRINCETON)-Governor James E. McGreevey today signed legislation
appropriating $27.2 million in federal funds to strengthen the state's
public health care infrastructure and improve hospital preparedness to
respond to acts of bioterrorism and other health emergencies.
which include $23.7 million from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) and $3.5 million from the Health Resources and Services
Administration (HRSA), are being made available to the state through
cooperative agreements with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior
Services (DHSS)," McGreevey said.
said federal authorities are reviewing the agreements' proposed work
plans, timelines and budgets and, if acceptable, full funding will be made
available on or about May 15, 2002.
A-1955/S-34 (Sarlo, Watson Coleman, Quigley, Littell, Buono), enables the
DHSS to accept the funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services during the State's Fiscal Year 2002. Of the $27.2 million in
anticipated funding, $5.4 million has already been made available to the
signed the legislation in Princeton at Critical Infrastructures:
Working Together in a New World "Lessons Learned in Action", a
security conference that the state is co-sponsoring this week.
dollars, together with $25 million in state appropriations proposed in the
New Jersey's Fiscal Year 2003 budget, will help fund the recommendations
of the Medical Emergency and Disaster Prevention and Response Expert Panel
(MEDPREP)," McGreevey said.
comprised of top New Jersey health care experts, is developing the state's
health-related terrorism preparedness plan.
is far better prepared today than last year," said Health and Senior
Services Commissioner Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. "The federal and state funds
will make New Jersey safer and better able to respond to acts of terrorism
in an agile, rapid and coordinated fashion."
New Jersey's proposed cooperative agreement with the CDC calls for
enhancements in six focus areas: preparedness planning and readiness
assessment, surveillance and epidemiology, laboratory capacity for
handling biological agents, the state's Health Alert Network and
information technology, communicating health risks and disseminating
health information, and education and training.
focus of the proposed HRSA cooperative agreement is to advance hospital
bioterrorism preparedness. This agreement will coordinate the efforts of
hospitals and other health care facilities in managing potential epidemics
on a regional level, and prepare plans for emergency communications.
initiatives, the funding will provide for:
Office of Public Health Preparedness and a Bioterrorism Unit within the
Department of Health and Senior Services, responsible for statewide
planning, coordination and response.
Establishing five regional bioterrorism planning areas - Region 1
(Bergen, Essex and Hudson), Region 2 (Sussex, Morris, Passaic and
Warren), Region 3 (Union, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean), Region 4 (Hunterdon,
Somerset and Mercer) and Region 5 (Burlington, Camden, Gloucester,
Salem, Cumberland, Atlantic and Cape May).
public health planners in each of the 22 Local Information Network
Communications Systems (LINCS) agencies in the state. LINCS agencies are
designated local health departments that serve as information and
resource hubs for the state and the 114 local health departments in New
grants for local infrastructure building at the 22 LINCS agencies for
disease surveillance and investigation, information support, risk
communication/health education and administration.
the information technology resources to develop, maintain and enhance
the Communicable Disease Reporting System between the DHSS, its Public
Health and Environmental Laboratories (PHEL), hospital and commercial
laboratories, and all local health departments and hospitals in the
improvements and expanding the PHEL to enable it to handle a higher
volume of tests.
the state's Health Alert Network in all local health departments.
risk communications, public information, health education and training
opportunities, including exercises and drills.
health service grants to acute care hospitals so they can upgrade their
ability to respond to biologic events and be better prepared to triage,
isolate, treat, stabilize and refer multiple casualties.
health service grants to health care facility associations so that they
can hire staff to help member institutions prepare for and respond to
cooperative agreements also direct the state to create an advisory
committee to provide ongoing input on state and local plans and
activities. The committee will be comprised of representatives of state
and local health care organizations and agencies as well as members of