October 11, 2023
Altarum is honored to announce our selection by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to lead the strategic support services for the Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s (MCHB) Regional Pediatric Pandemic Network (the Network.) The Network helps children's hospitals and their communities be ready to care for children during disasters and public health emergencies. Altarum is committed to assisting HRSA and the Network in implementing equitable approaches to ensure that children's hospitals are prepared for and can consistently deliver high-quality care during emergencies.
Disasters impact everyone negatively; however, children’s developmental, physiologic, and psychological considerations make them especially vulnerable to disasters, emergencies, and global threats. Also, disasters highlight disparities in historically marginalized groups, including children from certain racial and ethnic minority groups and children with medical complexities. Children from low-income and specific geographical communities often experience the negative impacts of large-scale emergencies disproportionately. These families are more likely to live in high-risk areas that are exposed to repeated disasters and less likely to have access to the resources and support needed to recover from the physical, emotional, and financial ramifications of these adverse experiences.
Children’s hospitals are tasked with assessing and caring for the children made the most vulnerable and therefore have enormous opportunities to prepare and address these inequities. The Network helps children’s hospitals across the nation bolster hospital readiness and disaster preparedness including readiness to assess and treat highly infectious diseases. Maintaining a successful Network is necessary for building national infrastructure and capacity to prepare for and address these needs.
Altarum, in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, is uniquely qualified to effectively and efficiently support the Network and its goal to bolster pediatric preparedness. We bring extensive expertise in strategy management, project management, evaluation and data analysis, training and technical assistance, and delivery of health care systems. This is coupled with our team’s knowledgeable experts in children’s and pediatric health, preparedness, health care systems, community health, and our mission to improve the lives of historically underserved populations.
“Children are especially vulnerable in disasters and emergencies and have specific needs that must be integrated into disaster planning,” said Florence Rivera, Early Childhood Systems Specialist at Altarum. “We understand this initiative and have a unique, cross-sector team of experienced experts to support HRSA in providing leadership around approaches and strategies that can support an effective network of hospitals working together with their communities.”
Altarum will ensure the Network is best poised to foster collaboration among hospitals and their communities to prepare for threats and be able to provide real-time dissemination of research-informed pediatric care.