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Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014

News

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Haitian patients not likely at Pittsburgh-area hospitals

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

By Luis Fabregas
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW

The potential for Haitian earthquake victims to receive treatment in Pittsburgh hospitals lessened Tuesday, as federal officials said other cities could receive patients first.

The government activated so-called Federal Coordinating Centers in Tampa and Atlanta to receive patients, said Gretchen Michael, a spokeswoman for the assistant secretary for preparedness and response in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Those communities have a large population of Haitians who could help provide a support system for family or friends who accompany victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Michael said.

Federal officials said Philadelphia is the closest Federal Coordinating Center on alert and would be activated if needed.

Stacy Kriedeman, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, said the eastern part of the state would get priority because more than 50 hospitals in the region are members of the National Disaster Medical System.

Federal officials this week activated the system, which allows designated hospitals to receive reimbursement at 110 percent of Medicare rates, according to the agency.

Gov. Ed Rendell on Monday said three hospitals in Western Pennsylvania — University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, West Penn Allegheny Health System and Jefferson Hospital — could receive quake victims, possibly this week.

Flights to the United States were temporarily suspended after officials in Florida said hospitals there were overwhelmed by an influx of seriously injured patients.

Fred Peterson, a vice president at the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania, which is helping coordinate the potential arrival of victims, said officials at Pittsburgh hospitals are making preparations but don't expect patients to arrive soon.

"It's a very fluid situation," Kriedeman said. "We are certainly prepared."

 

 

 

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