Representative Abigail Spanberger announced on Monday a federal grant of $2,648,079 for hospitals in Virginia to purchase additional medical equipment and support preparedness planning, according to a news release from Spanberger’s staff.
The award is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It will be distributed through HHS’s Hospital Preparedness Program to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association for COVID-19 preparedness and response activities under the Virginia Healthcare Emergency Management Program.
Spanberger voted in support of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March. The act provided millions in additional funding for HHS’s Hospital Preparedness Program.
“With Virginia gradually reopening, we must take strong, targeted steps to keep our health care workers safe, deliver quality care to Virginia patients, and prepare for future outbreaks of COVID-19. This much-needed funding from HHS is another step toward strengthening the Commonwealth’s response and preparing our health care providers for the weeks and months ahead,” Spanberger said in the release. “I’d like to thank the VHHA and its members for working around the clock to prepare our health care facilities for the challenges that may arise due to COVID-19, and I’ll keep fighting for the resources our communities need to weather this pandemic together.”
“Virginia hospitals and health systems play a critical role in planning for and responding to public health emergencies in the Commonwealth. This has never been more clear as hospitals and their dedicated teams have been on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, and hospital leaders have been actively engaged in coordinating response strategies alongside state and federal partners,” Sean T. Connaughton, president and chief executive officer at Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, said in the release. “VHHA and its members are an integral part of the Commonwealth’s emergency preparedness infrastructure, and this enhanced Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response funding provides continued support for that important work. We are grateful to Virginia’s congressional delegation for their efforts to support health care providers and public health emergency planning efforts.”
VHEMP, a partnership between the Virginia Department of Health and the VHHA, aims to address and close gaps in the Virginia health care system’s ability to plan and respond to natural and man-made disasters, according to the release.