On the Road Again: COTS expands to Southeast/Southeast Central Ohio
Since, 2002, COTS has been the Regional Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the Central Ohio Homeland Security Region. Starting January 1, 2019, COTS expanded its efforts to the Southeast/Southeast Central Ohio Homeland Security Regions, now coordinating 41% of the state.
The Southeast/Southeast Central Ohio Region encompasses 21 counties, 16 hospitals, and 4 Free-Standing Emergency Departments. Southeast/Southeast Central Ohio is unique in that many of the hospitals and healthcare facilities are many miles and minutes apart.
The regional coordination is funded by the Ohio Department of Health Healthcare Preparedness Program grant through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. The grant works to assist hospitals and healthcare partners in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from adverse health effects of emergencies and disasters.
As the Regional Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the Southeast/Southeast Central Regions for COTS, I and others work with a diverse group of healthcare partners through the Southeast/Southeast Central Ohio Healthcare Coalition to promote information sharing, situational awareness, and resource coordination.
In efforts to develop relationships and promote coordination, COTS staff have driven close to 4,000 miles over the past few months. Most drives round-trip are around 3+ hours. During our trips, we have enjoyed the beautiful scenery and little encounter of traffic. We also were able to be one of the first to travel the new Bypass which is a 16-mile stretch of four-lane highway, allowing drivers to travel 70 mph – cutting nearly 20 minutes off the typical commute between the two locations through Portsmouth. This has made our commute to Portsmouth and Ironton, Ohio much quicker.
Check out the photo below along the Bypass during a beautiful cold morning on March 28th as I traveled to Ohio University Southern Campus in Ironton, Ohio for a Tri-State meeting.