AdCare working to Support Public Health and Health Care Emergency Preparedness Services

AdCare Maine employs four full time public health emergency preparedness staff. The work of this group supports the initiatives of the Maine CDC, Division of Public Health Systems, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program (PHEP).

Maine CDC has partnerships with local professional warehousing agencies to meet a Receipt, Stage and Store (RSS) requirement to accept and process federally requested Medical Countermeasure materiel and pharmaceutical products, equipment and supplies for rapid distribution and dispensing. Recently, PHEP has been working with Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to collocate medical countermeasures and potential commodities in the same warehousing locations to coordinate a dual pronged approach in a response to disaster. This collaboration resulted in a joint exercise with federal, state, local government and civilian medical and non-medical emergency response partners.

The AdCare’s Training and Exercise Coordinator, working within the Maine CDC PHEP program, facilitated. The request processes and managed inventory aspects of these events are highly sensitive and maintained through an Inventory Management and Tracking System (IMATS). In early April, PHEP invited the federal agency responsible for the Department of Strategic National Stockpile (DSNS) to provide a 2-day training event for participants to learn the IMATS system and practice warehousing of receiving, storing and staging (RSS) these products. In May, we brought the federal DSNS team back for the next step of the process; Receipt, Store and Stage (RSS) which culminated in a practical exercise where professional warehousing partners could train and work directly with Maine CDC PHEP, Public Health Nursing, Maine Responds, MEMA, Maine State Police, US Marshalls Service and FEMA Region 1 personnel.

This approach set into motion full day of exercising the Health Alert Network (HAN) messaging system with the Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) for activation of Closed-Points of Dispensing (POD) at 2 different Long Term and Assisted Living Facilities in the Greater Portland Area. The scenario was loosely based on the potential of aerosolized or weaponized Anthrax Threat in the immediate Portland area. Maine CDC PHEP and CRI simulated the receipt of necessary medical countermeasures and tracked the delivery of through transport and route monitoring with GPS from the warehouse to the Closed POD. AdCare’s Emergency Communications Coordinator, working within the Maine CDC PHEP program, was able to view in real time the medical countermeasures from the warehousing complex through the chosen route to the Closed POD destination for dispensing.

These events although met with some challenges demonstrates the willingness and ability of federal, state, local government and civilian agencies to collaborate on a large-scale disaster response event.

Learn more about Public Health and Health Care Emergency Preparedness Services supported by AdCare Maine.