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October 13, 2009


  • For VDH: Deputy Commissioner Mark J. Levine, MD, MPH (804) 864-7026
  • For Troutman Sanders: Steven Gravely (804) 697-1308 or Erin Whaley (804) 697-1389


October 13, 2009 (RICHMOND, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Troutman Sanders LLP announced today that they have completed a project funded by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve the provision of medical services during a pandemic. 

The one-year project built on work that VDH had begun in 2006 to help address the shortage of critical resources that are likely to arise during a pandemic or other large scale disaster.

“Virginia has long been a leader in helping healthcare providers prepare for disasters,” said Mark Levine, MD MPH, Virginia’s Deputy Commissioner for Emergency Preparedness and Response Programs. “We were among the first to realize that shortages of staff and other resources will make it more difficult for healthcare providers to perform their essential function during disasters. This impacts all of us, since our healthcare providers are essential to our ability to respond and recover from disasters.”

Troutman Sanders served as the project facilitator. The project required that the Critical Resource Shortages Planning Guide – which VDH developed with Troutman Sanders and the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association – be implemented at a pilot site. Sentara Norfolk General Hospital served as the pilot site.

The project involved the work of more than 50 hospital personnel, who served on several planning committees that developed detailed draft algorithms which could be used to modify, or allocate, essential services in a pandemic or other major disaster. Physicians, nurses, ethicists, respiratory therapists, emergency planners and administrators worked together to evaluate the complex issues that resource shortages create as healthcare providers struggle to continue to deliver care. 

These tools were tested in complex “tabletop” exercises that tested the accuracy of the algorithms and their ability to be implemented. The project also created a comprehensive Implementation Guide and a Toolkit with draft presentations that will help others more easily prepare for Critical Resource Shortage Events.

“We are eager to share our learning with providers nationwide,” said Steven Gravely, head of Troutman Sanders’ health care practice.  “Planning for resource shortages is very complex and requires that many stakeholders work together.  We hope that the tools that we have developed in this project will help advance this work across the country.”

To learn more about the Toolkit, go to:

Last Updated: 10-13-2009

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