Pascrell Announces Federal Assistance for St. Josephs in Wake of September 11th Attacks
Medical Center to receive nearly $400,000 to help cover losses associated with terrorist attacks
WASHINGTON - Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) announced today that the federal Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a grant in the amount of $382,050 to St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Paterson to help cover losses it incurred in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Pascrell, who is Chairman of the House Working Group on Emergency Preparedness and Response, has worked closely with health care entities in the past several weeks coordinating federal assistance and new policies to enhance preparedness and response procedures.
"Our hospitals and health care entities were essential in helping this nation respond to the crisis we faced on September 11th, and in the days and weeks that followed," Pascrell said. "They were on the front lines helping our communities heal, and have worked diligently ever since to enhance our preparedness and response capabilities."
"St. Joseph's responded to the tragic events September 11th with compassion, commitment, and foresight, and the federal government is answering that service with these needed resources," Pascrell said.
"The grant will reimburse St. Joseph's for costs associated with our urgent response to the September 11th tragedy, including providing physicians, emergency medical technicians and nurses to aid the victims and assist in the rescue effort," said Patrick R. Wardell, President of St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center. "I very much appreciate Congressman Pascrell's encouragement and support of St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in this grant application process."
The awards go to grantees for expenses incurred in the provision of health care-related services that were needed as a direct result of the terrorist acts. Examples of allowable costs are personnel costs, supplies and contractual expenses, and may include capital equipment, repair of public facilities, renovations and alterations, and other capital expenditures essential to the provision of health care-related services. Lost or foregone revenue directly attributable to the terrorist acts also is considered an eligible cost.
St. Joseph's expenses included both the costs associated with responding to the attack in New York, and lost revenue following September 11th. For example, the hospital saw a decline in primary care visits, emergency room visits, and in-patient admissions. It saw its security costs increase to protect the facility itself, increased overtime costs such as paying for health care personnel working in New York and extending blood donor room hours, and additional clerical support to address the significant increase in phone calls to the hospital.
Grants were made to entities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Virginia and Pennsylvania, which incurred health care-related expenses or lost revenue as a result of their immediate response to the public health emergency caused by the attacks. Individual grants range between $1,000 and $1 million.
Since the tragic events of September 11th, Pascrell has worked closely with St. Joseph's and other health care providers on emergency preparedness and response. On October 9th, the Congressman convened an emergency meeting of hospital representatives along with state and local police, fire and emergency personnel. The meeting resulted in the group offering specific recommendations that Pascrell took to Washington and incorporated into his work as Chair of the House Emergency Preparedness and Response Working Group within the House Democratic Task Force on Homeland Security. Soon after the meeting, the Task Force introduced the "Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2001."
On October 29th, Pascrell visited St. Joseph's and used the visit to formally introduce the legislation.
"America's healing resilience is stronger than ever. And, the Department of Health and Human Services is determined to support that healing process," HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson. "These grants offer a bit of compassion in this time of turmoil, and will help people and organizations start to rebuild."
Public Health Infrastructure and Response to Bioterrorism $3.5 billion
Improving Community Emergency Response Capacity and Preparedness ($1 billion)
Increasing hospital capacity, educating medical personnel, increasing nursing and clinical lab personnel, and providing training to first responders.
Ensuring an Adequate Supply of Vaccines and Treatments for All Americans ($1.4 billion)
Increasing the national stockpile of anthrax antibiotics, developing and acquiring additional doses of smallpox vaccines, researching and developing new vaccines and antibiotics, training and equipping health professionals to provide antibiotics and vaccines, and expediting FDA approval of new products.
Enhancing Community Planning and Intergovernmental Coordination ($600 million)
Providing planning grants to local communities and health care providers to develop emergency response plans that meet certain minimum federal guidelines, requiring states to submit medical response plans to the federal government, funding state trauma care systems, and strengthening intergovernmental coordination.
Enhancing Surveillance, Improving Communications, and Strengthening Technology Infrastructure ($500 million)
Improving state and local surveillance, training health care personnel in the detection of illnesses related to biological attacks, upgrading laboratories, ensuring a 24-hour public health system is available to local providers, improving and expanding CDC surveillance capabilities, building local technology and communication systems, enhancing communications among agencies, and requiring state and federal agencies to share with first responders important information about the potential dangers of an emergency site.