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pdfWRAP-EM_Launch_Press_Release_Oct 2019.pdf

The Western Regional Alliance for Pediatric Emergency Management Receives $3 Million Federal Grant to Establish a Pediatric Disaster Care Center of Excellence

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has awarded The Western Regional Alliance for Pediatric Emergency Management (WRAP-EM), led by a team at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, a $3 million grant to develop one of two Pediatric Disaster Care Centers of Excellence (COE) in the country. 

As part of the grant, WRAP-EM will develop a model for improving emergency pediatric disaster response capabilities throughout the region. Its goal is to examine pediatric disaster care needs, address weaknesses in emergency communication or access and uncover unknown challenges that could be detrimental in a crisis.

WRAP-EM ties together organizations and pediatric disaster expertise from Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona, representing 13 million children from across the five states. Multiple institutions and agencies across the western region are actively involved in the alliance including 17 medical centers, 10 universities, 2 NETEC biocontainment centers, poison control centers, state and local emergency management agencies and private health care delivery systems.  From all of these organizations, more than 60 individuals and subject matter experts covering a multitude of response scenarios have united with a single mission: to impact the capacity and capabilities on the West Coast to respond to pediatric patients in a disaster.

The WRAP-EM leadership team from UCSF-Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland includes Michael Anderson M.D., president of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals and co-PI on the project, Chris Newton M.D., director of trauma care at Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and WRAP-EM co-PI, and James Betts M.D., attending pediatric surgeon. The UCSF team spearheaded forming the alliance, and created a highly respected and comprehensive collection of pediatric disaster management experts.

“As the only ASC verified freestanding Level 1 pediatric Trauma Center in the area, we are already committed to excellence in pediatric emergency care,” said Michael Anderson, M.D., president, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals and co-PI for WRAP-EM. “As part of the WRAP-EM coalition, we will expand resources, reach and support across state lines by developing a coordinated, collaborative and sustainable regional disaster response plan that will match resources to pediatric needs during a mass casualty event.”

The WRAP-EM consortium will execute the yearlong project in two phases, first by conducting a comprehensive review of available resources, developing a pediatric emergency resource library and conducting a gap analysis to assess the group’s existing ability to respond in an emergency.

The second phase will focus on delivering products with a measurable impact such as creating a published guide containing regional pediatric disaster response expertise, developing telemedicine interconnectedness across the region, establishing a comprehensive pediatric training and education platform, and implementing patient tracking, reunification and information-sharing practices to address interstate operational challenges.

“These pilot projects will serve as the proving ground and identify gaps in resources and services that are vital to continuity of pediatric health care delivery,” said Robert Kadlec, M.D., assistant secretary for HHS Preparedness and Response. “We hope these projects will define the delivery of pediatric clinical care when existing systems become stressed or overwhelmed.”

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