8600 Old Georgetown Road | Bethesda, MD 20814
Major Drill Tests Military, Federal, and Civilian Regional Resources
Contact: Chris Walz (National Naval Medical Center Public Affairs); 301.295.5727; Chris.Walz@med.navy.mil

BETHESDA, Md. (Oct. 15, 2009) -- The Bethesda Hospitals' Emergency Preparedness Partnership will host its 5th Annual Collaborative Multi-Agency Exercise (CMAX-09) Thursday, Oct. 15, at the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC).

Leaders from the partnership facilities that include NNMC, Suburban Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Clinical Center and the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health said the goal of the drill is to test the regional disaster response program to a mass casualty event and strengthen relationships among local, state and federal emergency management agencies.

More than 5,000 people will take part in this year's drill, including participants from the partnership facilities, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Montgomery County hospitals and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. The exercise will also provide the opportunity to demonstrate several disaster information management research projects aimed at sustaining communications, reuniting families with loved ones, and improving patient records management in a disaster.

Our nation will continue to be susceptible to disasters, pandemics and suspected acts of terrorism. The partnerships' regional disaster response model has shown that now is the time for communities to implement strategies and enhance relationships for effective disaster response," said Chris Gillette, the National Naval Medical Center's command emergency manager.

The Bethesda Hospitals' Emergency Preparedness Partnership is a first-of-its-kind collaboration that links military, federal, local and private mass disaster medical response efforts within the National Capital Area. Started in 2004 and formalized in 2005, the partnership is now a model for other health care agencies throughout the country.

Bethesda partnership has developed a transportable model for defining best practices in casualty care management through ongoing collaboration, integration and training," said National Naval Medical Center Commander Rear Adm. Matthew Nathan. "We encourage other health care organizations to partner with their neighbors. Forming these relationships helps improve disaster preparedness and creates a real difference for the community."

Contact the National Naval Medical Center Public Affairs Office at 301.295.5727 by Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. to reserve a spot to cover this event. Media members should be at the National Naval Medical Center's South Gate no later than 8:45 a.m.




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