November 9, 2005 -- Redlands, California—A consortium of universities and other organizations has been awarded a major grant for emergency preparedness training for the states of Hawaii and California as well as the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI). The grant, approved for approximately $4.14 million over three years, will foster the development of the Pacific Emergency Management, Preparedness and Response Information Network and Training Systems (Pacific EMPRINTS).
The Pacific EMPRINTS partnership will provide training for health professionals in Hawaii, California, and USAPI that includes face-to-face courses; remote learning networks; and multidisciplinary, live training scenarios. As part of the grant, ESRI will provide software and training. In addition, ESRI staff will serve on the Pacific EMPRINTS advisory board and supply geographic information system (GIS) expertise in program planning and delivery.
“This is an excellent opportunity for agencies to strategically plan and train for various homeland security emergencies, and GIS can play a vital role in these efforts,” says Marj Dougherty, ESRI grant coordinator. “ESRI was fortunate enough to be able to help the participating agencies to scope out the project and learn how GIS is now being used successfully in homeland security exercises.”
The U.S. Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded the grant. The purpose of the grant is to fund the development of a health care workforce with knowledge, skills, abilities, and core competencies to recognize indications of terrorist attack; meet acute care needs of patients; participate in coordinated, multidisciplinary response to health events and to rapidly and effectively alert the public health system and local communities of such an event.
According to HRSA administrator Betty Duke, “The training supported by these grants is vital to confront the ongoing threat of bioterrorism-related public health emergencies.”
As part of Pacific EMPRINTS, GIS mapping and spatial analysis training will be provided to health professionals involved in management, preparedness, and response to terrorist events and other emergencies. GIS training will include the standardized use of GIS for data collection, management, and distribution in the field and in forward command centers.
“Our training will enhance the safety of both first responders and the communities they protect,” says Dr. Ann Sakaguchi, University of Hawaii (UH), and director, Pacific EMPRINTS. “GIS and GPS technologies will add a new dimension to the decision-making processes and community awareness.”
The Pacific EMPRINTS training will be accomplished by a partnership of health professionals, educational and technical specialists, and supporting staff from the UH College of Social Sciences, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, and School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene; Kapi’olani Community College’s emergency medical services; the Pacific Public Health Training Center, which includes the UH School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene and four schools of public health (University of California, Berkeley; UCLA; Loma Linda University; San Diego State University); ESRI; Hawaii State Civil Defense; Healthcare Association of Hawaii; East-West Center/Pacific Disaster Center; and the state of Hawaii’s Dental Health Division.
ESRI provides a program that locates federal, state, and local government and foundation grant funding opportunities and information related to implementing GIS in various industries and provides information to possible grantees. Many of these funding opportunities can be used to assist in GIS acquisition. These grant programs are not sponsored by ESRI; however, grant applicants can seek assistance from ESRI in scoping the GIS portion of their project and with grant writing assistance by visiting the grant program site at www.esri.com/grants or sending an e-mail to Email Contact.