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Health and Family Services Cabinet
State Health Department Provides Portable Treatment Centers to Hospitals

Press Release Date:  Monday, October 22, 2007  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Barbara Fox
(502) 564-6786

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2007) – The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) announced today that it has provided all 14 hospital preparedness regions across the state with mobile treatment centers that can be deployed at or near the scene of a disaster or emergency to provide treatment for patients.
       “In the event of a large-scale public health emergency such as an influenza pandemic or disaster, health and medical systems would be overwhelmed with people seeking treatment, and the need to meet this demand would be critical,” said William D. Hacker, M.D., commissioner for public health and acting undersecretary for health at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “These mobile surge units will have the capability of providing medical care services to quickly stabilize and treat patients on site without overburdening hospitals.”
       Each mobile surge unit is cargo trailer-based and contains the supplies and equipment necessary to provide basic care for up to 25 patients for 72 hours at an alternate care site, giving additional capacity for health care facilities during mass casualty events or other emergency treatment situations.
       DPH provided the units to hospital preparedness coalition regions using federal funding through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) pandemic influenza grant. The cost of each mobile unit was approximately $34,500. Regions will manage and maintain the units, which could also be deployed to other parts of the state if needed.     
       In August, DPH used federal hospital preparedness funds to purchase a similar but more advanced Regional Emergency Services Care Unit for Louisville, which could also be deployed to other areas if needed. This mobile unit is capable of providing intensive-care quality treatment for up to 20 patients at a time. Plans are under way to purchase two identical units for the Lexington and Bowling Green areas.
       Governor Ernie Fletcher’s administration has focused on increasing public health preparedness statewide through a variety of initiatives and improvements, including: extensive pandemic influenza planning and summits in all 120 counties; upgrading the DPH emergency operations center and adding a public health mobile communications trailer; establishing regional caches of pharmaceuticals and chemical weapon antidotes; establishing a cache of antiviral drugs for pandemic influenza treatment; creating the Kentucky Outreach and Information Network (KOIN), a grassroots network designed to reach vulnerable populations during emergencies; and setting up back-up communications systems for health departments and hospitals statewide, among others.
       For contact information for your local host facility contact Barbara Fox, CHFS Division of Communications, at (502) 564-6786, Ext. 4411.


Last Updated 10/22/2007