Frye Regional Medical Center (FRMC) recently observed this year’s World Health Organization’s focus, “Save lives. Make hospitals safe in emergencies.” The World Health Organization (WHO) was founded on April 7, 1948. Every year on its anniversary, the organization celebrates “World Health Day” with a specific focus.
WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan explained that this year, WHO is focusing on those efforts which help prepare hospitals prepare for disasters. She pointed to solid planning, the importance of training and exercises, and mitigation and preparedness efforts as just some of the steps hospitals should take to prepare for community disasters.
FRMC Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Michael Barrick noted that the WHO focus is an opportune time to reinforce the importance of Frye’s disaster preparedness program. “Frye is committed to taking all the steps identified by Dr. Chan to ensure that our disaster preparedness program remains vibrant, timely and effective.” He continued, “With the rapidly changing world in which we live, we too must be willing to change. Fortunately, we have a staff that is willing to adapt and take all the necessary steps to be prepared for when a disaster strikes. In the last few years, we have taken numerous steps to ensure our readiness. We participate in several drills annually with city, county, state and federal partners, as well as our partners at other hospitals in the region. In addition to expanding our partnerships, we have embraced new technology, increased training, and purchased additional equipment.”
Still, to help staff focus on the importance of emergency preparedness, the hospital acknowledged the WHO initiative at the April meeting of its Emergency Preparedness Committee. “This committee is a team of clinicians, physicians, administrators and support staff who, collectively, lead emergency preparedness efforts at Frye,” offered Barrick. He added, “While we strive to always stay sharp in preparing for disasters, we know that drawing attention to our efforts, and constantly assessing them to ensure that we are indeed embracing best practices, will keep our staff prepared to assist the community we serve.”