Press Release

December 30, 2005


Gov. Blagojevich announces grants for communities to better prepare for a major emergency or bioterrorist attack

Illinois receives $13.5 million in emergency preparedness grants
for Illinois hospitals and health organizations  

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded more than $13 million in federal grant money to help Illinois’ hospitals and health organizations provide the best care to patients during a major state emergency. As part of the program, grant recipients are required to coordinate an emergency response to a disease outbreak or terrorism attack for their community.

“People across our state deserve the peace of mind of knowing that if a major emergency happened in their hometown, local hospitals are ready to care for them,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “While Illinois is already known as a leader in emergency preparedness and response, these funds will help medical staff and others who help with local emergency response do an even better job of preparing to protect their communities if tragedy strikes.”

The Health Resource Services Administration (HRSA) administers the grants under the Health and Human Services agency. Illinois received a total of $15.6 million in HRSA grants with $13.5 million being administered to hospitals and health organizations throughout the state and the remaining dollars earmarked for the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

“Outlining key areas of emergency preparedness the hospitals must adhere to in order to utilize the grant money is a way to ensure they have the resources and plans developed to establish a state of readiness in the event of a disaster,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director.

Some of the grant requirements include the following:

  • Developing mobile trauma and burn supply resources.
  • Conducting drills and exercises to test response plans and surge plans.
  • POD hospitals (the hospital designated to take the lead in healthcare during a disaster) are required to coordinate with area hospitals and other medical facilities and emergency management partners within their region to assess the availability of an area that could be used for patient care in the event of a major event.
  • POD hospitals are responsible for developing a surge plan for their region that provides for triage, treatment and initial stabilization to care for patients affected in mass numbers and they must conduct drills to test those plans.
  • POD hospitals will develop plans for isolating highly communicable disease cases and will conduct drills to evaluate the effectiveness of those plans.
  • All hospitals will develop an internal procedure to maintain negative pressure isolation for highly infectious diseases and will participate in the state’s efforts to include health care professional volunteers in the statewide registration system.
  • All hospitals will identify a mental health team to deploy to the site of a disaster to treat those with behavioral health issues.
  • All hospitals will be required to utilize the IDPH electronic hospital bypass system and participate in community –based training and education sessions.

The hospitals use the federal funds for purchasing equipment and resources for the hospitals in the region. Some of the funds are used for educational seminars and incident command staff for medical staff.

“These funds are critical to ensure we are ready to respond to not only a bioterrorist event but a natural disaster or pandemic flu situation,” said Brian Churchill, EMS and disaster coordinator for St. John’s Hospital, the POD hospital for the Springfield area. “We are able to pool our resources and work together with the surrounding hospitals to effectively plan a course of action that aims to stabilize our community.”

Statewide organizations receiving Federal Public Health Preparedness and Response Grants include:

Emergency Medical Services for Children $280,000
Illinois/American Health Education Consortium $25,000
Illinois College of Emergency Physicians $400,000
Illinois Council of Health Systems Pharmacists $90,000
Illinois Hospital Assn. $90,000
Illinois Poison Control Center $500,000
Illinois State Emergency Nurses Association/ ICEP $100,000
IMERT Equipment $175,000
IMERT Executive Council $100,000
Mental Health Association of Illinois $100,000
Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council $90,000
U of I College of Dentistry $100,000
Subtotal Grants to Statewide Organizations $2,050,000

Hospitals receiving Federal Public Health Preparedness and Response Grants were:

Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn $502,500
Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove $126,600
Advocate Good Shephard Hospital, Barrington $54,000
Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago $460,000
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge $56,500
Advocate Trinity Hospital, Chicago $2,500
Alexian Brothers Medical Center, Elk Grove Village $56,500
Alton Memorial Hospital, Alton $70,100
Belleville Memorial Hospital, Belleville $677,500
Blessing Hospital, Quincy $124,100
Bromenn Regional Medical Center, Normal $124,100
Carbondale Memorial Hospital, Carbondale $502,500
Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana $502,500
Central DuPage Hospital, Winfield $124,100
Childrens Memorial Hospital, Chicago $27,000
Community Hospital of Ottawa, Ottawa $70,100
Condell Medical Center, Libertyville $126,600
Crawford Memorial Hospital, Robinson $70,100
Delnor Community Hospital, Geneva $124,100
Edward Hospital, Naperville $126,600
Elmhurst Hospital, Elmhurst $54,000
Evanston Hospital, Evanston $54,000
Fairfield Memorial Hospital, Fairfield $70,100
Galesburg Cottage Hospital, Galesburg $124,100
Glenbrook Hospital, Glenview $54,000
Glenoaks Medical Center, Glendale Heights $54,000
Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, Melrose Park $56,500
Heartland Regional Medical Center, Marion $70,100
Highland Park Hospital, Highland Park $502,500
Hinsdale Hospital, Hinsdale $54,000
Illini Hospital, Rock Island $70,100
Illinois Valley Community Hospital, Peru $70,100
Ingalls Hospital, Harvey $72,600
Jersey Community Hospital, Jerseyville $70,100
John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County, Chicago $27,000
Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital, Dixon $70,100
Kenneth Hall Regional Hospital, Inc., East St. Louis $56,500
Kewanee Hospital, Kewanee $70,100
Kishwaukee Community Hospital, DeKalb $72,600
Lake Forest Hospital, Lake Forest $54,000
Loyola University Hospital, Maywood $502,500
MacNeal Memorial hospital, Berwyn $54,000
Massac Memorial Hospital, Metropolis $70,100
McDonough District Hospital, Macomb $72,600
Memorial Hospital - Woodstock, Woodstock $54,000
Memorial Medical Center, Springfield $376,500
Methodist Medical Center of Illinois, Peoria $54,000
Morris Hospital, Morris $54,000
Mt. Sinai Hospital Medical Center, Chicago $27,000
Northern Illinois Medical Center, McHenry $124,100
Northwest Community Healthcare, Arlington Heights $126,600
Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago $62,050
OSF St. Joseph's Medical Center, Bloomington $126,600
Passavant Area Hospital, Jacksonville $70,100
Provena Covenant Medical Center, Urbana $70,100
Provena Mercy Center, Aurora $54,000
Provena St. Joseph Hospital, Elgin $124,100
Provena St. Joseph Medical Center, Joliet $126,600
Provena St. Mary's Hospital, Kankakee $124,100
Provena United Samaritan Medical, Danville $56,500
RHC St. Francis Hospital of Evanston, Evanston $126,600
Riverside Medical Center, Kankakee $124,100
Rockford Memorial Hospital, Rockford $502,500
Rush North Shore Medical Center, Skokie $54,000
Rush-Copley Medical Center, Aurora $56,500
Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, Mattoon $70,100
Sherman Hospital, Elgin $502,500
Silver Cross Hospital, Joliet $126,600
Southwestern IL Health Facilities/Anderson Area Hospital, Maryville $70,100
St Mary's Hospital, Decatur $72,600
St. Alexius Medical Center, Hoffman Estates $54,000
St. Anthony Medical Center, Rockford $126,600
St. Anthony's Health Center, Alton $70,100
St. Francis Medical Center, Peoria $502,500
St. James Hospital, Pontiac $70,100
St. James Olympia Fields Osteopathic Hospital and Medical Center, Olympia Fields $2,500
St. John's Hospital, Springfield $376,500
St. Mary's Good Samaritan, Inc, Mount Vernon $70,100
St. Mary's Hospital, Streator $70,100
St. Mary's Hospital, Centralia $70,100
SwedishAmerican Hospital, Rockford $54,000
Trinity Medical Center, Rock Island $70,100
University of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago $62,050
Vista Health - St. Therese Medical Center, Waukegan $54,000
Vista Health - Victory Memorial Hospital, Waukegan $124,100
Subtotal Grants to Hospitals $11,466,500

Total All Grants $13,516,500

The grants build upon the state’s ongoing homeland security and preparedness efforts, including:

  • This year, Illinois retained the nation's highest rating ("Green") from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to manage the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) during an act of bioterrorism or other mass casualty event. Illinois has earned this rating for the last three years.

  • In July 2005, Gov. Blagojevich signed a bill into law requiring the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to create a database of all thelicensed medical professionals in the state.The registry will include all active-status health care professionals who could be contacted to volunteer their medical skills during emergencies.

  • In March 2004, Gov. Blagojevich implemented the Illinois-National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (I-NEDSS), a secure, Web-based system for hospitals, doctors and other health care providers to electronically report infectious diseases. The system allows medical professionals and public health officials to effectively respond to public health emergencies immediately. I-NEDSS is part of a nation-wide system linking state and local public health departments with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • In March 2004, the administration launched a Web-based version of the hospital bypass system that provides the state with up-to-the-minute information from more than 200 hospitals in Illinois on the availability of beds and other critical health care services necessary to guide the response to an act of terrorism or other public health emergencies.

  • Under the Blagojevich Administration, the Illinois Medical Emergency Response Team (IMERT) has expanded to 12 teams and 1,277 participants. IMERT responds and assists with emergency medical treatment of mass casualty incidents when activated by the Director of Public Health. Each team consists of a physician, nurse, paramedic and an EMT that volunteer their time. The state continues to recruit more volunteers to participate in this effort. 51 IMERT members were deployed to assist in Hurricane Katrina response efforts in September.

  • The Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) is a partnership with Chicago, St. Louis and neighboring states, which focuses on conducting readiness exercises between large metropolitan areas and states and how the different entities can work together on preparedness.

  • The state created the Illinois Public Health Mutual Aid System (IPHMAS) last year to strengthen the preparedness of the public health system in Illinois. Gov. Blagojevich called on all the local health departments throughout the state to sign on to the project, which provides for the sharing of resources in the event of a bioterrorist attack or other emergency. All 95 local health departments in the state heeded the governor’s call to action and signed on to participate in the system. The pact provides personnel, equipment, and supplies assistance to a stricken area by local health departments.

  • The Chem-Pack project is an initiative geared toward raising preparedness efforts related to responding to chemical or nerve agent terrorist attacks. Illinois distributed the chem-packs last fall to hospitals around the state to protect against a nerve agent attack. The packs contain medicine to treat nerve agent exposure.

  • The State Weapons of Mass Destruction (SWMD) Team is a multi-agency effort including the Illinois State Police, Secretary of State Police, Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The team is trained to respond to a biological, chemical or radiological agent attack. Specially trained individuals determine what type of agent has been used and how to respond.

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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