DHHS, NIH News  
Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center (CC)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Colleen Henrichsen or
Sara Byars, NIH Clinical Center
(301) 496-2563

LCDR Chito Peppler,
National Naval Medical Center
(301) 295-0584

Ronna Borenstein-Levy,
Suburban Hospital
(301) 896-2598

Maryland Hospitals Announce New Emergency Preparedness Partnership

Three major hospitals in Bethesda, Maryland, have formed an Emergency Preparedness Partnership to improve and coordinate their responses to disasters.

The hospitals are the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services; Suburban Hospital, a community-owned hospital serving Montgomery County and the surrounding area; and the National Naval Medical Center, part of the Department of Defense. The NIH Clinical Center is located between the Navy Medical Center on Wisconsin Avenue and Suburban Hospital on Old Georgetown Road.

"In this partnership, the 'whole' far exceeds what the three institutions could do independently," said Dr. John I. Gallin, NIH Clinical Center Director. "Naval Medical Center staff are skilled and trained to respond to all kinds of emergencies and Suburban Hospital is a level II trauma center. The NIH Clinical Center has physicians who represent almost every medical and surgical specialty and subspecialty.”

Coordinated collaboration and capitalizing on complementary strengths are essential to an effective regional response to man-made or natural disasters in the Washington metro area, partnership leaders say.

"In the event of a disaster, we are obligated to protect and preserve the health and well being of our community," said Rear Admiral Adam Robinson, Commander, National Naval Medical Center. "Pooling our medical resources will substantially enhance local emergency responsiveness and maximize the support we provide to our community."

"As a trauma center, Suburban Hospital would have a major role in the event of a regional emergency," said Brian Gragnolati, President and CEO of Suburban Hospital. "This partnership will provide a mechanism to help us better serve both the community of Bethesda and the entire metropolitan Washington region should a natural or man-made disaster strike."

Partnership goals include:
  • Assuring that each institution can respond rapidly and effectively to any emergency situation;

  • Providing streamlined integration of the responses of the three partner institutions with other community, regional, and national emergency plans; and

  • Establishing a model for other federal and private sector hospitals to form similar partnerships.

Top managers from the partner hospitals have been meeting for several months and teams have been established to address key issues.

The Clinical Center is the clinical research hospital for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Through clinical research, physicians and scientists translate laboratory discoveries into better treatments, therapies and interventions to improve the nation's health. The Clinical Center's new hospital, the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center, was dedicated on September 22.

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