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Tuesday, April 16th, 2024

HHS leads Puerto Rico hurricane preparedness exercise

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Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) personnel are touting the benefits of a Puerto Rico hurricane preparedness exercise.

The ASPR indicated collaboration with the Department of Health of Puerto Rico would involve seven health care institutions in the Mayagüez healthcare region and the emergency management zones of Mayagüez and Aguadilla.

“We have been working together with the Puerto Rico Department of Health and experts from other federal agencies to support the long-term recovery process in Puerto Rico following the devastating hurricanes of 2017,” HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations and Resources Jon Greene said. “The healthcare system in Puerto Rico has made tremendous progress to be better prepared and ready to confront disasters. Exercises like the one are designed to test that readiness for moderate- to catastrophic-level emergencies to help save lives.”

The work scope would demonstrate how the model would function to manage resources and deliver health care services in conjunction with the emergency response network during disasters.

Participating entities include the Emergency Management and Disaster Administration Bureau, the Mental Health and Addiction Services Administration, Puerto Rico Primary Health Association, Puerto Rico Seismic Network, and the Puerto Rico Medical Center’s Trauma Center.

“The activation of the HUB & Spoke response model in Mayagüez is one of the mechanisms that the Puerto Rico Department of Health uses to respond to an emergency that compromises the health service delivery system at the island level,” Puerto Rico Department of Health Secretary Dr. Carlos Mellado said. “In conjunction with the Puerto Rico Health Services Coalition, we envision the integration of this structure with a view to improving emergency response and recovery processes.”