The Express
November 2019

‘Tis the season to be thankful, and we sincerely appreciate our ASPR TRACIE stakeholders for allowing us to share their resources and experiences. As we go to press, we are thinking of those of you in the path of, experiencing, and/or recovering from wildfires. We invite you to review these related resources:

As always, please reach out to us if you need technical assistance or have an article or experience to share. 


In this issue of The Express, we highlight The Exchange, information on updated websites, an upcoming event, and updates from our three domains.

New: Preparing for and Responding to Chemical Incidents

Our most recent issue of The Exchange highlights lessons learned (from the responder and practitioner perspectives), recent experiences abroad, and updates to federal initiatives that align with the four focus areas listed under Objective 2 of ASPR’s National Health Security Strategy (NHSS) Implementation Plan. Jon Greene, ASPR’s Director of Emergency Management and Medical Operations, authored the foreword for this issue, highlighting the NHSS and the importance of including chemical threats in all hazards planning. Additional articles include insights from the following:

  • Susan Cibulsky, PhD (ASPR) and Dr. Mark Sutter (DHS) share lessons learned from the 2018 Novichok poisoning incident, including patient symptomology and the various treatments that were used.
  • Susan Gorman, PharmD and Susan Cibulsky, PhD (both from ASPR) highlight emerging threats and tools that can help communities prepare for and respond to related incidents.
  • Dr. Stephen Grant (Lexington, South Carolina Medical Center) describes how an emergency department managed the surge of patients exposed to tons of chlorine released as a result of a deadly train derailment.
  • Fire Chief Bruce Evans (Upper Pine River Fire Protection District, Colorado) shares his experiences as a then firefighter-paramedic who responded to a massive leak of liquefied chlorine gas in 1991 and how the fire and emergency medical response to chemical incidents has changed over the years.
  • Dr. John L. Hick summarizes the articles in this issue and highlights key considerations for healthcare planners and practitioners.             

We hope the information contained in this issue can help you and your communities better prepare for and respond to chemical threats. 

Updated: CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule Resource Page  
In September, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they took action to comply with the new Omnibus Burden Reduction (Conditions of Participation) Final Rule, which “removes Medicare regulations identified as unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome on hospitals and other healthcare providers to reduce inefficiencies and moves the nation closer to a healthcare system that delivers value, high quality care and better outcomes for patients at the lowest possible cost.” The CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule was affected by this Burden Reduction action. We are updating our facility-specific requirement overviews to reflect this change—access them and related resources on our CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule Resources Page
ASPR TRACIE Website Update
Some of you may have noticed the changes we made to the look and feel of our website. Our goal was to improve the overall user experience and minimize the amount of clicking needed to reach your desired destination. You can still easily access all ASPR TRACIE-developed resources and Topic Collections (which have been re-categorized based on user feedback), as well as request technical assistance or contribute to the Information Exchange. We welcome any feedback you might have!
REMM Website Update
Kudos to ASPR and the National Library of Medicine, which also recently launched a refresh of the Radiation Emergency Medical Management website. We encourage you to check it out and provide the REMM team your feedback.
Upcoming Event

December 3-5, Houston, TX

National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Conference

The theme of the 2019 Conference is “Taking Coalitions to New Heights.” Check out the “Beyond the Response: Addressing Compassion Fatigue and Behavioral Health Needs for Healthcare Providers” session on December 3, from 11:30-12:45 PM, and the post-conference session “The Role of Surge Partners in Disasters” on December 5 from 8:30-11 AM. Stop by the ASPR booth and say hello!  

Domain Updates
Technical Resources Icon Technical Resources
We continue working with our Subject Matter Expert Cadre to refresh our 57 comprehensively developed Topic Collections. Our most recently refreshed Collections are: Emergency Operations Plans/Emergency Management Programs; Incident Management; Recovery; Continuity of Operations; and Volunteer Management. We continue to revise Collections; check back often. You also can learn more about rating, commenting on, and saving resources to your dashboard in this short tutorial.
Assistance Center Icon Assistance Center
The Assistance Center has processed nearly 5,200 technical assistance (TA) requests from a variety of stakeholders. We have responded to TA requests for Biological, Chemical, and Radiological Resources; Chemical Hazard Spills; First Receiver Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Screening Resources; and Level C Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Resources for Pre-Hospital Healthcare Providers. Check out our summary of TA responses, and please reach out if you need assistance. 
Information Exchange Icon Information Exchange
More than 6,500 of your colleagues use the Information Exchange (IE)—do you? Register now to join the conversation and learn more about setting up private topic areas. Need help navigating the IE? Check out this short how-to video.
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