HHS Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2007–2012 (Strategic Plan). Workforce Readiness

11/22/2015

HHS will identify, put on a roster, and train deployable teams of medical and public health providers, including HHS personnel (both commissioned officers and civil service employees), other Federal employees, and voluntary staff. HHS meets regularly with its ESF-89 Federal partners to identify missions, form teams with the skills needed to meet the missions, identify training and equipment requirements, and initiate training. HHS has identified the logistical support needs for these teams and has developed specific tasks for meeting these logistical needs. Examples of these needs include medical supplies, equipment, housing, and food requirements.

This activity builds upon the transformation activities of the Commissioned Corps of the USPHS (Commissioned Corps). The Commissioned Corps provides a unique source of well-trained, highly qualified, dedicated public health professionals who are available to respond rapidly to urgent public health challenges and health care emergencies. The Commissioned Corps’ response to Hurricane Katrina is a powerful example of what its officers can do. In response to Hurricane Katrina, the Commissioned Corps deployed more than 2,000 officers—the largest deployment in its history—and still has personnel in the field providing care in Louisiana today. The transformation will facilitate force management improvements that are necessary for the Commissioned Corps to function even more efficiently and effectively. The current activity using rosters is aimed at structuring officers into teams, and then training them as a team. This approach defines clarity of roles and expectations, and assures that leadership and management of the officers in the deployed situation are well understood and their roles are executable.

These teams will interface with the Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) fielded under the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS). The greatest utility of the DMATs is in immediate emergency response, and they are considered the initial responders for emergency medical needs during the first 72 hours after an event. HHS and other Federal agencies will be responsible for the other requirements in the continuum of health needs, including some aspects of health services delivery during evacuation, hospital care, low-intensity facility-based care for populations with special needs (such as chronic diseases and disability), and other health outreach activities.

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