Winthrop Plays Major Role in County-Wide Emergency Preparedness Drill

Vol. 16, No. 3
Summer/Fall 2006

  • Scoliosis Patient Stands Taller after Complex Surgeries

  • Winthrop Specialists Named to Top Doctors List

  • Renovation Project Extended Thanks to Senator Balboni

  • Winthrop Opens Beautifully Expanded Admitting Office

  • ER & Cardiac Team's Exceptional Response Time Saves Father of Two

  • Winthrop Plays Major Role in County-Wide Emergency Preparedness Drill

  • Winthrop's Department of Pediatrics Admitted to Prestigious National Association

  • Don't let obesity take you from them

  • Cancer Survivor's Inspiring "Mask of Courage" Evokes Hope

  • Winthrop Appoints Board of Directors Chairman

  • Former Winthrop President Passes Away

  • CyberKnife Restores Mother's Hearing and Preserves Grandfather's Active Lifestyle

  • Winthrop Introduces Toilet-Training Program

  • Winthrop First LI Hospital to Pioneer Use of Advanced Physician Order Entry Technology

  • Citigroup Foundation and Garden City Family Support Cancer Center for Kids

  • Charlie's Champions Rally in Support of Cancer Center for Kids

  • Horticultural Therapy Program Branches Out Thanks to Fidelity Investments

  • West Islip Family Thanks Pediatric Center

  • Garden City Second Grader Dedicates Birthday to Young Patients

  • Jets Fans' Contributions Benefit Pediatric Patients

  • Kids for Care Hosts Dinner Supporting Pediatric ER Patients

  • Diabetes Education Center Partners with American Idol Celebrity for Important Discussion

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  • Senator Michael A. Balboni, New York State Senate's leader on Homeland Security issues, addresses the media during the drill.
    In early June, Winthrop participated in the Nassau County Department of Health's (DOH) emergency preparedness drill structured around a mock anthrax attack.

    The six-hour training drill was designed to test, document and improve the ability of both Nassau's first responders (police, fire, EMS) and first receivers (health care staff) to organize and operate multiple Point of Distribution (POD) sites to dispense medication.

    Staff volunteers meticulously don and doff HazMat suits during the three-hour drill.
    Integral in the four-month planning process, Winthrop not only served as the coordinating agency for the hospital sector, but also opened its POD and Mass Decontamination Unit (Decon) to the media.

    "In the event of a bioterrorism event or a mass exposure, either natural or man-made, to a potentially infectious agent, the first responder/ first receiver community would be the first wave of individuals to receive medication in an effort to preserve the emergency response and health care infrastructure," explained Dennis W. Sheridan, MBA, CHE, Vice President of Administration at Winthrop. "The standardized methodology of a POD provides the most effective means to achieve mass prophylaxis as rapidly as possible.

    Brian Malone, Pharmacy Director, and his staff advise "victims" and prepare mock medication inside the POD set up in the Hospital.
    "At the same time, should multiple exposure victims present to the Hospital for treatment, they would first undergo mass decontamination prior to entering the Emergency Department," he continued. "This would be done to preserve both the integrity and safety of the ED for patients and staff. Finally, in the event of a declared public health emergency requiring mass prophylaxis of the general public, community-based PODs would be established and the public would be directed to them at locations away from the hospitals."

    Volunteers from the Mineola Junior Fire Department also participated in the drill, posing as victims exposed to anthrax. Each individual "victim" was met by the Winthrop Decon Team and moved methodically through the Hospital's external, mass decontamination process, which incorporates a series of soap and water showers; all contained within a large mobile tent staffed and equipped by Winthrop's highly trained team. Team members from various departments throughout the Hospital have gone through a minimum of 40 hours of intense training in hazardous materials operations along with numerous practice sessions throughout the year.

    Mineola Junior Fire Department volunteers line up by the decontamination tents, which can be set up in under 30 minutes.
    Representatives from the Nassau County Fire Marshal's Office HazMat Team evaluated Winthrop's mass Decon process and gave it high marks. In fact, discussions are now underway to arrange for future joint training exercises between the Winthrop Decon Team and the Fire Marshal's HazMat Team. Concurrent with the Decon component of the drill, a group of professional evaluators--operating under the joint leadership of the Columbia University School of Public Health and the Kansas University School of Medicine--observed Winthrop's POD process. Once again, Winthrop achieved high marks.

    "The magnitude of the involvement combined with the complexity of the live exercise was unprecedented on Long Island, as well as throughout the State," Mr. Sheridan added. "In fact, the exercise had national significance, and the lessons learned will assist with future planning efforts at all levels of government."

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