Funds for Disaster Response System

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within HHS on June 14, 2018, posted the funding notice titled “Partnership for Disaster Health Response” (EP-HIT-18-001). The total funding will provide two awards for an estimated $6,000,000 in total program funding.

ASPR is developing a Regional Health Response System (RDHRS) to leverage and improve existing programs such as the Hospital Preparedness Program and the National Disaster Medical System. The intent is to create a more coherent, comprehensive, and capable healthcare system integrated into daily care delivery.

The RDHRS is expected to be a tiered system emphasizing the use of local healthcare coalitions and trauma centers to integrate medical response capabilities with federal facilities and local emergency medical services.

The goal for RDHRS is to coordinate activities across local, state, regional, and federal healthcare response assets, improve bidirectional communication and situational awareness of the medical needs and issues in response, identify and further develop the highly specialized clinical capabilities critical to unusual hazards or catastrophic events, and increase healthcare sector participation in preparedness efforts.

The RDHRS system will expand public-private partnerships, by adding trauma centers, burn centers, pediatric hospitals, public health labs, outpatient services, and Veterans Affairs clinics to help deliver healthcare to the public in case of a disaster.

Partnerships may include:

  • One or more hospitals designated as a trauma center
  • One or more other local healthcare facilities including clinics, health centers, community health centers, primary care facilities, mental health centers, mobile medical assets, or nursing homes


The funding announcement invites applicants to develop demonstration projects that will address healthcare preparedness challenges, establish best practices for improving disaster readiness across the healthcare delivery system, and show the potential effectiveness and viability of RDHRS.

Applicants must demonstrate these specific capabilities:

  • Build a disaster health response network
  • Align plans, policies, processes, and procedures related to clinical excellence in disasters
  • Increase statewide and regional medical surge capacity
  • Improve statewide and regional situational awareness
  • Develop readiness metrics and conduct an exercise to treat capabilities


This FOA does not aim to establish the RDHRS in its entirety so funds will be provided for a limited number of demonstration projects to help identify issues, develop best practices, and demonstrate the potential effectiveness and viability of this concept. The awards will focus primarily on building and maturing the partnerships that are required to effectively prepare for and respond to the management of patients in disasters.

Go to for more details.

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