The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations (OPEO), Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), requests applications for State and jurisdictional hospital preparedness cooperative agreements (CA), as authorized by section 319C-2 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, as amended by the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) (P.L. 109-417). This authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to award competitive grants or cooperative agreements to eligible entities to enable such entities to improve surge capacity and enhance community and hospital preparedness for public health emergencies.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, provides funding for these awards (P.L. 110-161). Surge capacity is defined as the ability of a healthcare system to adequately care for increased numbers of patients. In 2003, as a planning target HPP defined surge capacity for beds as 500 beds/million population. In 2006, the HPP also defined surge capability as the ability of healthcare systems to treat the unusual or highly specialized medical needs produced as a result of surge capacity.
The HPP started to lay out a series of capabilities that all healthcare organizations participating in this program must possess and this funding opportunity announcement continues to clarify those capabilities.The majority of federal funds (ideally seventy-five percent or more) should be distributed to healthcare facilities. Healthcare facilities are defined broadly as any combination of the following: outpatient facilities and centers (e.g., behavioral health, substance abuse, urgent care), inpatient facilities and centers (e.g., trauma, state and federal veterans, long-term, children’s, tribal), and other entities (e.g., poison control, emergency medical services, nursing).
The activities and funding provided through the CA are for the purposes of exercising and improving preparedness plans for all hazards including pandemic influenza.The awardee should work with all potential sub-awardees to develop activities that clearly integrate and enhance preparedness activities with the overall effect of making healthcare systems function in more efficient, resilient, and coordinated manners. Awardees are reminded that these funds are to be used to supplement and develop not supplant current resources supporting healthcare preparedness.