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Disasters and public health emergencies can hit communities hard, commonly with little warning. When disaster strikes, communities rely on an immediate response from health care workers for life-saving care. Health care workers must be ready to react quickly, often using innovative techniques and new products, caring for large numbers of patients, providing specialty care, and more to save lives and protect patient health.

Meeting these challenges requires both planning and cooperation. ASPR’s Health Care Readiness Programs help hospitals, health care facilities, and health care systems across the country overcome the complex challenges associated with disaster health care by providing coordinated, life-saving care and broadening the resources available during a disaster or public health emergency.

ASPR’s Health Care Readiness Programs support the development of new partnerships and provide leadership, funding, training, and technical assistance that enhance the nation’s health care preparedness and response capacity. This portfolio of programs and activities engages health care stakeholders from all 50 states, U.S. territories, and freely associated states and from across the health care industry – empowering private health care to share ownership in addressing the risks and vulnerabilities across the spectrum of disaster care delivery.

ASPR’s Health Care Readiness Programs create connections among health care providers, specialty care providers, response organizations, regional partners, and public health professionals. These programs also enhance education and technical assistance to help health care providers save lives in the face of complex health challenges, including COVID-19.

Taken together, these programs support health care on the front lines, address critical gaps in the nation’s readiness, and create and disseminate promising practices and protocols to drive coordinated health care readiness.

Related Programs and Resources

For more information about how Health and Human Services (HHS) is authorized to respond to public health emergencies, reference the Public Health Service Act.

By the Numbers

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Health Care Readiness Cooperative Agreements

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Cooperative Agreement Recipients

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Amount of emergency supplemental funding distributed to address urgent health care preparedness and response needs nationwide​