October 24, 2019 - As I step into my role as Healthcare Ready Chairman, I think back to its origins. Founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the original idea was simple: help harness the strength and responsiveness of the pharmaceutical supply chain and coordinate response to major emergencies.
Today, Healthcare Ready is a thriving, standalone organization that has evolved its role to better support public and private sector response to disaster. An online tool, Rx Open, helps patients find nearby open pharmacies in areas impacted by disaster. Consulting, training services and education content help shed light on how the commercial supply chain responds to emergency. Close alliances with healthcare industry organizations and companies help link public and private officials to coordinate disaster response. A “situation room” is deployed for each major natural disaster.
This is important work. The key, however, is to help stakeholders engage to continuously improve response during the steady-state periods between emergencies. Educating officials at all levels of government about the capabilities and resiliency of the commercial supply chain, while also providing insight to industry on the response protocols of the public sector, is vital. We also must engage with healthcare companies and associations to gain the support we need — through memberships and sponsorships — to ensure Healthcare Ready can continue with its mission and to ensure patient access to medicines during time of emergency.
HDA is a founding member of Healthcare Ready; having played an active role in this organization since its inception, I am proud to take on a greater leadership role. From the beginning, collaboration has been key to Healthcare Ready’s success as an organization. As Chairman, I am looking forward to building on that collaborative spirit as we continue to work together to ensure that communities can access critical services in times of need.