Alabama Department of Public Health to form Healthcare Coalition

Published 11:03 pm Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Alabama Department of Public Health is in the process of forming Healthcare Coalitions across the state of Alabama in order to be better prepared in times of crisis.

The Healthcare Coalition will serve as a multi-agency coordinating group to assist with preparedness, response, and recovery and mitigation activities related to healthcare organization disaster operations.

Peggy Williams, Area X Emergency Preparedness Surveillance Nurse, said the organization hopes to bring all the health entities together.

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“What we want is for all the health care partners in the community, whether it is doctors on down to private businesses and volunteers, to be together in one group to help the community quicker,” Williams said. “We want to strengthen the plans already in place, to make sure every thing that we can get done is done.”

Williams worked in triage units in Tuscaloosa following the tornado outbreak there a few years ago, and cited the tornado event in Troy last December as cutting it close.

“Tornadoes are one of our biggest issues,” Williams said. “It is not just a March-April thing anymore. Sometimes cities and towns get lucky, but others don’t. Healthcare Coalitions and the respective EMA offices can make treatment and response quicker and more fluid.”

The state of Alabama is divided in to 10 coalitions, each with a varying number of counties.

Pike, Crenshaw, Coffee, Geneva, Houston, Dale, Henry and Barbour Counties make up Coalition 10.