Sep 07 2006

Graham and DeMint Announce $17.4 Million for South Carolina to Enhance Bioterrorism Preparedness

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced South Carolina will receive more than $17.4 million in federal funds to enhance capacity to respond to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. The funds will be used to improve infectious disease surveillance and investigation, enhance the preparedness of hospitals and the health care system to deal with large numbers of casualties, expand public health laboratory and communications capacities and improve connectivity between hospitals, and city, local and state health departments to enhance disease reporting. The funds will also be used to exercise existing response plans, test capabilities and evaluate improvements. The funding is awarded via two separate but interrelated cooperative agreements. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing $10,852,835 to develop emergency-ready public health departments by upgrading, improving, and sustaining their preparedness and response capabilities for “all-hazards” public health emergencies, including terrorism and other naturally-occurring public health emergencies. HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration is providing $6,632,258 to develop medical surge capacity and capability to deal with mass casualty events. This includes the expansion of hospital beds, development of isolation capacity, identifying additional health care personnel, establishing hospital-based pharmaceutical caches, and providing mental health services, trauma and burn care, communications and personal protective equipment. ####