Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN) visited MESH Coalition today for a tour of its headquarters and a town hall meeting with staff members. During the meeting, she announced that MESH CEO Chad Priest and MESH Board Chair Dr. Virginia Caine will provide testimony during a Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee Field Hearing chaired by the Congresswoman in August.
"MESH is a unique and successful public-private partnership that greatly enhances the Hoosier State's ability to prepare for and respond to man-made and natural disasters," Brooks said. "Emergency preparedness and response in the 21st century must be a joint endeavor that harnesses the potential of our private sector innovators, non-profit organizations and public-sector support networks. MESH is a model that other cities and municipalities should learn more about and I look forward to highlighting its efforts on a national stage in August."
During the tour, Congresswoman Brooks visited MESH's operation center to learn more about the coalition's data tracking and hospital asset management technology. She also explored MESH's Multi-Agency Support Tactical Facility (MASTF), a mobile field hospital designed for deployment to area healthcare institutions to provide surge or relocation capacity during disasters. The MASTF is comprised of one triage area and three treatment areas which can be used to provide a wide range of medical services including critical care. It was most recently used as a cooling tent during the Indy 500.
"It was an honor to welcome Congresswoman Brooks to MESH Coalition headquarters and to share with her how we are helping the Central Indiana healthcare system better prepare for emergency events and respond effectively during crisis," said MESH Coalition Chief Executive Officer Chad Priest, RN, MSN, JD. "We are thankful for the opportunity to introduce the Congresswoman to our staff and to demonstrate how the MESH Coalition's innovative technologies and services are changing how communities approach healthcare emergency preparedness."
Following the tour, Congresswoman Brooks led a discussion with MESH employees on a wide range of topics including social media use during disasters and the effectiveness of homeland security grants. Employees shared insights regarding social media's ability to be an effective bridge between the first responder and hospital worlds during catastrophic events.
Congresswoman Brooks is a member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications. In August, she will hold a field hearing in the 5th District focusing on Central Indiana's preparedness for a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear attack or other emergency.
MESH Coalition is a non-profit public-private coalition located in Marion County that enables health care providers to respond effectively to emergency events, and remain viable through recovery. MESH provides education and training, healthcare intelligence, preparedness planning and policy analysis services to healthcare providers, governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations. For more information on MESH, please visit: http://www.meshcoalition.org/.