High Influenza Reports Across the United States

CDC's Influenza Division produces a weekly influenza surveillance report, FluView. Seasonal influenza activity increased sharply in the United States. New York City and 26 states experienced high Influenza Like Illness (ILI) activity levels. Puerto Rico and nine states experienced moderate ILI activity.


TLP: WHITE: ASPR/CIP HPH Cyber Notice: Meltdown and Spectre Side-Channel Vulnerability Guidance

(Released for distribution by Departmetn of Health and Human Services 01/05/18.)

Healthcare and Public Health Sector partners-

Below is a link to a report on the Recently Publicized Widespread Processor Vulnerabilities from the Healthcare Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (HCCIC). Please note the report is TLP: WHITE. 

HCCIC: Report on Recently Publicized Widespread Processor Vulnerabilities 

FDA Update on Recovery Efforts in Puerto Rico (Related to Drug Shortages)

A statement by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., update on recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, and continued efforts to mitigate IV saline and amino acid drug shortages. 


Public Safety Communication (FirstNet) Planning Meetings to be Held

You are invited to the Wisconsin Office of Emergency Communications’ Regional Outreach Meetings! The purpose of these meetings is to provide an update to stakeholders on the status of the new, nationwide public safety broadband communications initiative known as FirstNet; provide guidance on evaluating service options for public safety agencies; next steps for public safety broadband in Wisconsin; and solicit input into the Interoperability Report that will be submitted to the State Legislature in 2018.

The meetings will be held between Jan 22 & 26 with a meeting being held in Wausau Jan 23. CLICK HERE for a full information sheet including more dates and locations and details about the program.

Thank You Tamarah Scholze

NCW HERC would like to take a minute to thank Tamarah Scholze for her leadership and efforts in preparing region 2 and its members for healthcare emergencies. Tamarah had been an active member in the coalition, dating back to 2005, and served as coalition chair until personal reasons required her to step away. NCW HERC wishes Tamarah all the best with her future, where ever it may take her!

Recognition Of Service

ASTHO’s: A Peer Assessment of Preparedness Activities’ Impact on the Public Health and Medical Response related to the Pulse Nightclub Shooting

ASTHO recently released a document: "A Peer Assessment of Preparedness Activities’ Impact on the Public Health and Medical Response", detailing findings from the Pulse Night Club shooting. This document summarizes the public health and medical preparedness activities that supported the response to the June 12, 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. It also explores preparedness program gaps brought to light during the response. This report is based on information gathered from an Orlando site visit conducted January 11‐12, 2017 by two peer assessors and several subsequent conference calls with key responders. ASTHO provided analytical and technical support for this project.  

WSIC’s A Guide for Wisconsin Businesses: The Basics of Ransomware

Wisconsin Statewide Intelligence Center (WSIC) released an Analytical Note, October 27, 2017. The note is intended for wide distribution discussing "The Basics of Ransomware: A Guide for Wisconsin Businesses." The note covers ways to improve cyber hygiene and what to do if your organization is victim of a cyber incident.

NCW-HERC Introduction to Preparedness and All Hazards Tabletop (Recording)

November 1, 2017, NCW-HERC held a virtual training and exercise, focused on baseline preparedness knowledge and tabletop exercising. This was intended for member agencies to be able to conduct their own tabletop exercise, during the presentation, or while viewing the recording.
Many critical documents and resources, related to preparedness, were referenced during the training, which are accessible when viewing the recording (in the bottom right corner.) The recording can be found here:
Please contact Robbie Deede, RN BSN, Region 2 (NCW-HERC) Coordinator, with any follow-up questions or comments.

Whitehouse Releases Updated Fentanyl Safety Document

An updated document of Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders has been released by the federal government. The document includes information for EMS, fire and law enforcement first responders about fentanyl exposure and methods to limit the risk. The document goes on to review management of suspected exposures and responders symptomatic of ingestion. Letter-size and poster-size versions are available for printing and sharing. 

DHS Names New State Trauma Coordinator

(Message from Bill Oemichen) I am very pleased to advise you that Caitlin Washburn has accepted the position as the State Trauma Program Coordinator within our office and will assume her new position on October 2.  As many of you know, Caitlin has been working in our office since January of 2016 in a variety of roles, including excellent service since early June as the interim State Trauma Program Coordinator.  As you may also know, Caitlin recently earned her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and earned Bachelor of Science degrees in both Biochemistry and Legal Studies with Distinction from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2013 where she is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.  Caitlin’s extensive education, administrative and program experience, and her evident enthusiasm for all things public health make her an outstanding permanent addition to our OPEHC team. 

Please join me in welcoming Caitlin to this important role.
William L. Oemichen, Director
Office of Preparedness & Emergency Health Care
Wisconsin Department of Health Services

DHS Releases First Facility Planning Toolkit

The first of the much expected facility planning toolkits has been made available. DHS has developed a number of toolkits to help non-hospital CMS facilities meet the emergency preparedness rule. Additional toolkits are in the DHS approval process and will be posted soon. Download the kits HERE

DHS Director of Health Emergency Preparedness Resigns

Email from Bill Oemichen, Director of the Office of Preparedness & Emergency Health Care.

Good Afternoon,

With much reluctance, I have significant news to announce regarding our preparedness leadership in the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Health Care:  Lisa Pentony, after 15 years of skilled and dedicated service to the cause of health emergency preparedness within the Division of Public Health (DPH), is leaving us to take on a new role in the Division of Care and Treatment Services (DCTS) in DHS. She asked me to share that it was a very difficult decision for her, but one that she feels is right for her at this point in her career and life. She further stated that it has been her privilege to have worked with and learned from such incredible partners like all of you.

All of us who are Lisa’s colleagues in the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Health Care are more than sad to see her go, but we hope you will join us in wishing her well in her new role. DCTS is truly lucky to have a talented and thoughtful leader like Lisa joining their ranks. 

Lisa’s last day with our office is this Friday, September 1, 2017. Our staff is dedicated to continue with our work and support of all of you, with the excellence that Lisa has always cultivated. Going forward, please contact Joe Cordova at 608-267-9010 for information on the Public Health Preparedness Program or Michelle Seitz at 608-267-6833 for information on the Healthcare Preparedness Program.  Of course, regardless of topic, you may also reach out to me at 608-267-7178.


William L. Oemichen, Director
Office of Preparedness & Emergency Health Care
Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Region 2 HCC Coordinator Hired

We are please to announce that Robbie Deede has been hired to be the new NCW HERC Coordinator.

Robbie Deede, RN BSN is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh School of Nursing. He has an extensive background in primary care pediatrics and achieving community wellness through the “Maternal Child Health Life Couse Model.” While working for Oneida County Health Department, he assisted in achieving “Public Health Accreditation Board(PHAB)” certification and served as Preparedness Coordinator. During this time, Robbie aided in the development of multiple documents, plans and policies in Pandemic Response, Mass Care, Mass Fatality and Community Readiness to improve county and regional wellness. Many efforts have been shared as best practice by the State of Wisconsin. Through efforts such as these, he was awarded the 2017 Carol Graham Scholarship for emerging leadership in public health.

Robbie’s commitment to community extends beyond practice. He is an avid volunteer, operating "Hodag BMX", a 100% volunteer, non-profit club focused on community youth development. In 2016, he asked to participate in the "Rhinelander Parks Task Force" to engage the community on matters related to parks in Rhinelander, WI.

Robbie advocates for strong partnership building, stating: “We need to understand the importance of working together in strengthening our community every day. We are going to need each other in time a crisis and still need to be a community after crisis.”

Region 2 To Conduct Coalition Surge Tests

Please mark your calendars for this event on November 8th, from 1030-1200. Location to be determined.

This will be an overview of the upcoming Coalition Surge Test (CST). This is a requirement of the Hospital Preparedness Program for annual exercising 2017-2022, and core partner collaboration and input is identified as essential. Core Partners include: Emergency Management, Public Health, Emergency Medical Services, and Hospitals. This overview will be conducted collaboration with Wisconsin Department of Health Services Office of Preparedness and Emergency Health Care and the North Central Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition (NCW-HERC).

The CST is designed to help health care coalitions (HCCs) identify gaps in their surge planning through a low- to no-notice exercise. The exercise’s foundation comes from a real-world health care system disaster challenge—the evacuation of a hospital or other patient care facility. The CST tests a coalition’s ability to work in a coordinated way to find appropriate destinations for patients using a simulated evacuation of at least 20 percent of a coalition’s staffed acute-care bed capacity. Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has indicated there is an increased willingness to penalize states for poor performance/reporting by withholding funds.

Again, core partner contribution is essential to the success of the CST. Thank you for considerations in making arrangements to attend this meeting.

Tourniquets Save Lives

The Stop the Bleed campaign stresses the importance of bystander intervention to stop severe bleeding. Over the last year the Wisconsin Healthcare Coalitions have given 10,000 tourniquets to law enforcement officers across the state. A number of lives already been saved by tourniquets including this one in Rock County.

State DHS Hires Healthcare Preparedness Program Manager

Michelle Seitz has been in the health emergency preparedness field for many years. Michelle brings more than sixteen years of experience in emergency preparedness, response and recovery planning for healthcare and public health agencies. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Emergency and Disaster Management, a Master’s Degree of Science in Homeland Security Management as well as having real life experience increasing local, regional and national response efforts.

Michelle has been a national leader in pediatric preparedness, sitting on the Executive Committee of the National Pediatric Disaster Coalition and  has experience working in the emergency management field in a hospital for seven. Earlier in her career she worked in public health preparedness. She will begin April 3.

Project Grants Awarded 

Congratulations to the NCW HERC member organizations awarded this year's project grants. the NCW HERC recieved applications for over $130,000 worth of projects but unfortunately we only had about $80,000 to award. After careful review and scoring the Board of Directors awarded a total of $85,327 to the following projects.

Agency Amount Project
Ascension Saint Clare's Hospital $4,000 WI Trac computer display
Ascension Saint Michael's Hospital $600 HAM radio
Ascension Saint Michael's Hospital $4,000 WI Trac computer display
Oneida County Emergency Management $4,960 WI-CAMS
Aspirus Wausau Hospital $10,500 Electronic Incident Command Pilot
Aspirus Wausau Hospital $3,000 WI Trac computer display
Ascension Saint Clare's Hospital $16,895 Emergency shelter (portable building)
Aspirus Riverview Hospital $12,285 Patient DECON hot water heater
Aspirus Wausau Hospital $9,833 Flexmort cooling blanket
Aspirus Wausau Hospital $6,000 ENPC course
Ascension Saint Joseph's Hospital $4,233 HAZMAT supplies
Ascension Saint Michael's Hospital $6,840 PAPRS
Marathon County Emergency Management $2,179 Trench rescue training

WISCOM Training to be Offered

Highlighting the importance of WISCOM as a communication option within the region and across the state, the NCW HERC will be providing additional training on the WISCOM radio system to hospitals and possbily other HERC partners in the region. The HERC has contacted with Mark Schroeder to provide the training. He will be in contact with hospitals to set up training in the near future.


©2018 North Central Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition . Website by: Leighton Interactive