Before disasters happen, the Northwest Healthcare Response Network (the Network) leads multi-agency and cross-jurisdictional initiatives across the region to prepare healthcare organizations and our response partners through collaborative planning, information sharing, engagement, training, exercises, and advocacy. Over the past several months, the Network has convened stakeholders and partners across the entire state of Washington in a coordinated hazard vulnerability assessment (HVA) process to ensure preparedness and response activities align with identified healthcare and regional vulnerabilities.
“The Network’s Hazard Vulnerability Assessments have been a valuable resource for our LeadingAge members when they complete their facility specific risk assessments. These HVAs bring a community lens to the risk assessment process, allowing facilities to have a more comprehensive start to their preparedness planning. We are grateful to be involved in the process and creation of this year’s assessments.” – Laura Hofmann, MSN, RN, Director of Clinical and Nursing Facility Regulatory Services LeadingAge Washington
While the Network has long conducted HVAs for its coalition service area, 2023 marked the first year in which the Network collaborated with tribal, healthcare, public health, emergency medical services, fire and emergency management partners to assess hazards across the entire state of Washington, creating a consistent process of gathering results and reporting.
“Not only did this process create a unified and consistent approach for reviewing potential hazards to our healthcare system, but it also allowed for greater collaboration between our partners. Consistency will benefit all our communities as we work together to plan, prepare, and improve resiliency before an emergency or disaster hits.” – Kelly Hill, Planning & Preparedness Manager, Northwest Healthcare Response Network