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Coalition Calls on Secretary of Health to Make Hospital Emergency Preparedness a Priority
Date:5/21/2009

Coalition proffers a 6 Point Action Plan on infectious waste control during a pandemic

WASHINGTON, May 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an op-ed in Monday's Washington Times (link below), Emergency Preparedness Coalition says that the H1N1 Swine flu and previous issues, such as SARS, have highlighted the vulnerability our healthcare system faces from serious tests of preparedness in the area of operational sustainability in a crisis.

"The ability for our healthcare facilities to maintain operations during times of crisis is a matter of interest for every American and should be a priority for federal policy makers," said Darrell Henry, Executive Director of the Coalition.

"The time has come for the federal government to make on-site infectious waste control during a pandemic a priority," said Henry. "The coalition has developed a six point federal action plan for medical waste sustainability during a pandemic, a rare disease outbreak (e.g. Ebola or TB), or other crisis."

"While healthcare facilities do not release patients infected into the public to avoid the spread of disease, we willingly transport H1N1/swine flu and other potentially more dangerous disease infected medical waste through local communities, which is an unacceptable risk to public safety," said Henry.

Current practices of disposal involve removal, transportation, and off-site disposal of waste. However, modern affordable technologies exist that can cleanly, safely, and economically sterilize waste at the source. Treating hazardous materials on-site at a hospital is cleaner, greener, less costly, and, most importantly, a safer option.

The Healthcare Waste and Emergency Preparedness Coalition mission is to raise awareness and provide education about healthcare facility operational sustainability during a crisis. The coalition consists of hospitals, waste solutions companies, a
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SOURCE Healthcare Waste and Emergency Preparedness Coalition
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