FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE              Connecticut Department of Public Health

February 4, 2010                                        Contact: William Gerrish

                                                                  (860) 509-7270



Resource Guide for Health Care Facilities and Providers is Beginning of Framework for Decision-Making During Public Health Emergencies



Hartford - The Department of Public Health (DPH) today met with hospital representatives statewide to discuss a white paper that will provide guidance for health care facilities and providers for planning their response to prolonged emergency situations.


Standards of Care: Providing Health Care during a Prolonged Public Health Emergency is a draft document that provides an ethical framework for decision-making during lengthy public health emergencies. This document will be used as the framework for an ongoing discussion over the next year with health care providers and the public to determine how scarce resources will be allocated and standard practices will be modified during such emergencies. 


Today, national experts presented to health care providers from throughout the state about the importance of planning for prolonged emergency situations.


“Many preparedness experts predict that the nation will be confronted with a prolonged public health emergency, where healthcare facilities and providers will be confronted with an overwhelming demand for healthcare services, accompanied by a critical shortage of resources,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin.  “This document was created to help providers effectively allocate scarce resources to provide the best possible care and save the greatest number of lives during such a crisis.” 


Over the past two years, DPH led a workgroup comprised of representatives from other state agencies, hospitals, academic institutions, long-term care facilities, regional planning committees, and professional and trade associations to discuss how a prolonged public health emergency will affect the ability of health professionals and institutions to provide care.  The resource guide was drafted based on these discussions. 


“This document identifies guiding principles and the types of standardized practices facilities and providers may wish to change based on the relevant literature,” stated Dr. Galvin.  “Because every provider community is unique, it is critical that every organization form its own clinical workgroup to plan how it will provide care during a prolonged public health emergency.”  


The document will be used as the basis of discussions in public forums throughout the state during March and April of this year.  The document is also available on the department’s website at and the public is invited to submit comments electronically.  All comments will be reviewed and revisions may be made to the document based on comments submitted to DPH.  For information on attending a public forum, please contact Kathi Traugh via email at or by calling (203) 764-9718.


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 or call (860) 509-7270.