FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Donna Tommelleo
January 16, 2010 (860) 884-8472
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced she has informed the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) that Connecticut’s mobile hospital – one of only a handful in the nation – can be deployed to assist in the Haitian relief efforts should the federal government need it.
In a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday, the Governor said the state-of-the-art 100-bed unit can be transported in 25-bed sections. Further, the Governor said the state’s rapid-response Disaster Medical Assistance Team (CT-DMAT) could staff the hospital should the team be activated. (Link to letter.)
“Our nation is leading one of the largest relief efforts in history and Connecticut stands ready to help in any way possible,” Governor Rell said. “Our mobile hospital is designed to provide triage and treatment in the event of a public health disaster and we have well-trained medical disaster specialists who can staff the facility.”
The Governor said that both the mobile hospital and CT-DMAT would be sent to Haiti only if officially requested by the federal government. Any costs associated with the deployment would be paid for with federal funds.
“On behalf of the State of Connecticut, I thank you and your department for all your efforts to provide relief to the people of Haiti who have been devastated by this natural disaster,” the Governor wrote.
The state’s mobile hospital - the Ottilie W. Lundgren Memorial Field Hospital, named after a Connecticut victim of the 2001 anthrax attack – is multi-functional and complete with electricity, water, heat and air conditioning. It is deployable as a flexible configuration of 25 bed units that can be operated jointly or independently of one another. The $8.25 million hospital, began operating in 2006, and was funded with a combination of state and federal funds. It can be erected and staffed within hours of an emergency.
The CT-DMAT is composed of 120 members and is a part of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS). The team provides emergency care during emergencies and was established in 2002. Team members are trained in a variety of specialties unique to disaster situations and are able to function in hazardous situations.
More information on how to help with Haitian relief efforts can be found at: www.ct.gov.