The Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness (OPHEP) of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC), and the Maine Department of Human Services partnered with Central Maine Medical Center to create one of three Regional Resource Centers in the state complementing the existing State Regional Trauma Centers. To this end the Central Maine Regional Resource Center (CMRRC) was started in February 2004 and has been charged with developing comprehensive plans for a coordinated healthcare response to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies within our region. A major secondary role would be to manage a funds allocation program designed to improve Central Maine’s emergency response infrastructure.
The CMRRC is a collaborative venture involving all key partners within the Central Maine Territory including hospitals, rural health clinics, federally qualified health centers, emergency medical service providers, home health agencies, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, mental health agencies, substance abuse agencies, municipal health officers, municipal health departments, tribal health departments and health centers, county emergency management agencies, local emergency planning committees, American Red Cross Chapters, and schools. The funding from the Maine CDC allows the Resource Center to directly sponsor activities for the improvement of emergency healthcare preparedness. Specifically, these activities include:
- Coordinate and assure that the Maine CDC’s statewide public health emergency preparedness priority actions are communicated and implemented appropriately throughout the region.
- Early detection of bioterrorism events through interagency laboratory coordination and collaboration, and promotion of infectious disease reporting region-wide.
- Coordinate communication initiatives including service as a hub for the Maine Health Alert Network (HAN), and developing a regional health risk communication plan.
- Coordinate and implement public health emergency preparedness initiatives related to training of health professionals.
- Evaluate the region’s current capabilities and develop a regional emergency response plan for healthcare that will complement existing plans, determine priorities for possible future funding, and determine grant awards to undertake equipment purchases and/or capital improvements to address the following priorities:
- Adequate hospital bed capacity for a natural, accidental, or WMD event.
- Capacity for the isolation and treatment of biologically exposed patients.
- Heightened EMS coverage in response to a mass casualty incident.
- Immediate deployment of additional patient care personnel to meaningfully increase hospital patient care surge capacity.
- Receiving, staging, storing, and dispensing of assets from the Strategic National Stockpile and the Maine Pharmaceutical Cache.
- Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and portable or fixed decontamination systems for managing exposed patients.
- Regional response to terrorist attacks resulting in injuries due to explosions, including burns and trauma.
- Addressing psychological health needs and their behavioral manifestations during and following a public health emergency.
- Development of a redundant, radio-based communication system between health care providers, the RRC, public safety, public health, and emergency management agencies within the region.
Headquartered on the campus of Central Maine Medical Center, the Regional Resource Center also coordinates and offers educational programs to area partners that includes Hospital Awareness & Operations (HAZWOPER) training, NIMS and HICS training, planning & participating in community drills and exercises.