MERIDEN — The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be sending more than $17.2 million to the state to reimburse MidState Medical Center for the cost of purchasing materials and hiring temporary staff needed to safely treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement from FEMA.
The award is part of more than $813 million in Public Assistance grants to Connecticut to reimburse the state for pandemic-related expenses. FEMA also awarded $1.1 million to Bridgeport Hospital and $125 million to the state Department of Corrections.
The $17.2 million FEMA Public Assistance grant to MidState will reimburse the 156-bed acute care hospital, a Hartford HealthCare partner, for the costs of safely opening and operating the hospital between March 2020 and June 2022.
The grant will reimburse the hospital for the cost of paying 169 temporary employees – registered nurses, surgical techs, respiratory therapists, and administrative staff – for a total of 89,605 regular hours and 3,046 overtime hours. This staff supported the hospital with the treatment and screening of COVID-19 patients during the pandemic, according to FEMA.
Additionally, MidState Medical Center purchased medical gloves, air filtration systems, flow meters and flow sensors, hemostatic solution, infusion pumps, IVs and supplies for fluid delivery, freestanding plexiglass dividers, and testing kit supplies. Equipment purchases included air scrubbers, COVID-19 signage, morgue trailers, patient monitors and accessories, and software.
“FEMA is pleased to be able to assist MidState Medical Center with these costs,” stated FEMA Region 1 Regional Administrator Lori Ehrlich in the prepared statement. “Reimbursing state, county, and municipal governments – as well as eligible non-profits and tribal entities – for the costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic is an important part of our nation’s ongoing recovery.”
FEMA’s Public Assistance program is an essential source of funding for states and communities recovering from a federally declared disaster or emergency.
FEMA will also be sending more than $125 million to the State of Connecticut to reimburse it for the cost of purchasing and distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic.
The grants will reimburse the Connecticut Department of Corrections for serving as the state Logistic and Resource Support coordinator in purchasing and distributing emergency supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Between April 2020 and July 2021, the Corrections Department purchased and distributed emergency supplies and operated distribution centers around the state in coordination with the Connecticut National Guard.
The state procured and distributed approximately 78 million PPE items including masks, face shields, respirators, gowns, gloves, and shoe coverings.
The state leased two warehouse facilities to receive and organize the PPE shipments before distribution to over 30 healthcare agencies, emergency medical services and first responders, state agencies, and other non-patient care facilities around the state. Additionally, the state contracted to purchase and warehouse a 60-day PPE stockpile in the event of a PPE supply chain disruption during a future public health emergency.
The $1.1 million FEMA Public Assistance grant to Bridgeport Hospital, a Yale New Haven Health System-affiliated facility will reimburse it for some of the additional costs of operating in a pandemic environment between January 2020 and June 2022.
Those costs included overtime for Bridgeport Hospital personnel; contracting for additional staff; purchasing materials such as personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, face shields, and gowns), oxygen concentrators and oxygen supplies, and testing supplies.
The hospital also installed edge guards and negative air machines to create additional COVID-19 treatment space; provided transportation for patients between hospitals for treatment, and purchased IT hardware and software for its COVID-19 call center.
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