FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
October 27, 2008 Contact: William Gerrish
Mobile Field Hospital to be developed into New England Disaster Training Center and model for civilian mobile hospital response
Hartford –U.S. Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01) and Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin today announced $8 million in federal funding to enhance the capacity of Connecticut’s mobile field hospital and develop it into a national resource for training and building emergency response systems.
The Department of Defense funds will be used to build a Center of Excellence in disaster response training, the centerpiece of which is the Ottilie W. Lundgren Memorial Field Hospital, a state-of-the-art 100-bed mobile field hospital. The hospital assembles in hours and can be ready to triage and treat hundreds of patients during any public health emergency. It was named in 2006 in honor of a Connecticut woman who died from inhalational anthrax in 2001.
“This funding will bring together the best of our military and public health assets to develop a disaster training area and a national model for field-based patient care delivery,” Congressman Larson said during a press conference at Brainard Airport. “It will showcase to the country the immense skills and resources of Connecticut.”
“At any given moment, Connecticut or the nation could be faced with a disaster that results in an overwhelming number of sick or injured people. The mobile field hospital can alleviate the stresses that natural and man-made disasters put on our statewide urgent care system,” stated Dr. Galvin. “This mobile hospital is a powerful tool in the public health emergency preparedness arsenal, and these funds will strengthen its effectiveness and scope.”
The funding will support a partnership between DPH, the Connecticut Air Guard, the Connecticut Fire Academy and the state’s 31 acute care hospitals to develop policies and protocols for the 100-bed facility. Education and training courses will focus on events and scenarios related to bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks and mass casualty disaster response requiring deployment of the hospital.
To sustain an asset such as this mobile field hospital, it is important to provide multiple uses for it when not deployed during a disaster. Two such uses include a New England Disaster Training Center and a National Demonstration Model. The hospital will be developed into a national Center of Excellence for capacity building in emergency response systems, including training civilian, governmental and military organizations from outside of Connecticut that are interested in developing similar programs or would benefit from having access to this facility for education and training.
The Ottilie W. Lundgren Memorial Field Hospital is deployable as a flexible configuration of four 25-bed units that operate jointly or independently to provide triage and treatment anywhere in the state in the event of a mass casualty, or to support an acute care hospital after catastrophic structural or mechanical failure. During long-term deployments, resources from the state’s 31 acute care facilities will staff the hospital.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.