COVID-19 Hospital Preparedness Program

The North Carolina Healthcare Foundation (NCHF) received a second round of funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) under the COVID-19 Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) and is now seeking requests for proposals (RFP) from interested North Carolina non-profit and for-profit hospitals. This funding is intended to support the urgent preparedness and response needs of hospitals, health systems, and health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak.

NCHF will use an RFP solicitation process to assess new and ongoing needs to determine where these funds can have the greatest impact. Given North Carolina’s diverse population and the health disparities that have been exacerbated during the current pandemic, NCHF seeks to provide funding to programs and activities that have the greatest potential to address these disparities.

A total of $2.8 million is expected to be granted in the second round of the North Carolina COVID-19 Hospital Preparedness Program. Grant requests can range from $75,000 to $150,000.  NCHF will engage an external selection committee and expects to award 20-25 grants in this cycle. The deadline for proposals has been extended to October 30, 2020.

The following activities have been defined under the ASPR COVID-19 Hospital Preparedness Program. Proposed projects must tie back to at least one of these grant activities. However, prioritization and selection should be based on activities that are not already being addressed through other federal and state funding efforts as well as activities that have the greatest potential to benefit underserved populations or address an identified health disparity. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to partner with non-acute providers and community partners in the design and execution of their programs. Additional consideration will be based on an assessment of hospitals and communities at greatest risk for adverse outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grant Activities

  1. Update existing pandemic or emergency preparedness plans to include COVID-19 preparedness activities, such as approaches for the assessment, transport, and treatment of persons suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.
    • Update the existing patient transport plan to include an approach that allows for intra- and inter-state transport of potential or confirmed COVID-19 patients, as necessary.
  2. Purchase PPE per CDC guidelines and with attention to supply chain shortages, and share, in real-time, situational awareness regarding PPE models/types and supply levels with their health care coalitions (HCCs) and state or jurisdiction public health department.
  3. Provide training of staff, specifically focusing on health care worker safety when caring for a COVID-19 patient (e.g., PPE donning/doffing, rapid identification and isolation of a patient, safe treatment protocols, and the integration of behavioral health support) and early recognition, isolation, and activation of the facility’s updated pandemic or other emergency preparedness plan.
  4. Examine physical infrastructure needs, which may include minor retrofitting and alteration of inpatient care areas for enhanced infection control (e.g., donning/doffing rooms).
    • Reconfigure patient flow in emergency departments to provide isolation capacity for PUIs for COVID-19 and other potentially infectious patients.
    • Consider alternative or innovative models to reconfigure patient flow or transition to inpatient care, as necessary, such as leveraging alternative care sites (e.g., ambulatory surgical centers) or telemedicine to ensure all patients reach care.
    • Identify alternate care sites (on facility grounds or within close proximity) and additional sites (offsite) for sub-acute care patients to increase capacity.
  5. Plan and implement expanded telemedicine, telehealth, or other virtual health capabilities to ensure that appropriate care can be provided to individuals in their homes or residential facilities when social distancing measures are used to reduce virus transmission and that specialty care providers can provide consultation remotely.
    • Train health care workers on how to leverage telemedicine and telehealth to deliver care or how to incorporate telemedicine into daily workflows.
    • Provide training and technical support, as necessary, to EMS agencies and 9-1-1/Public Safety Answering Points on screening 911 callers to direct non-acute patients to the appropriate care setting and to implement evolving protocols related to the dispatch of EMS for COVID-19 suspected patients, and EMS response in general.
    • Ensure the capability to maintain continuity of operations, leveraging alternative or innovative models, such as alternative care sites or telemedicine to support other critical operations.
  6. Create alternate care sites (e.g., temporary structures, etc.) to provide surge capacity for patient care, or increase the numbers of patient care beds at a facility.
  1. Consider including a focus on individuals at risk for high morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 in the development and execution of activities described above, including collaborating with health care facilities that directly serve these individuals such as long term residential and home health care. The CDC has developed evolving guidance to define at-risk individuals for high morbidity and mortality from COVID-19, which can be found here.

All North Carolina non-profit and for-profit hospitals are eligible to apply. VA and military hospitals are not eligible. Funding can be used to support efforts in non-hospital settings, but the applicant must be a hospital. All applicants must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and an active System for Award Management (SAM) registration. SAM is the federal repository into which an entity must provide information to do business with the federal government.

 Proposal Submission Instructions:

  1. Complete and submit a detailed  Project Narrative using the provided template
  2. Complete and submit a detailed Project Budget using the provided template. Detailed instructions and funding restrictions are included in the template.
  3. Upload Project Narrative and Budget to the Application Portal.
  4. Submission Deadline: October 30, 2020 (Incomplete proposals and proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered).

For questions related to this grant opportunity, send an email to covidhpp@ncha.org.

An initial round of grant sub-awards was made in early May 2020, directed at supporting and strengthening the preparedness capabilities of NC’s 20 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and other small and rural hospitals under 50 beds (using the federal SHIP grant eligibility criteria).

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