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Health care systems to get $5.5M to prepare for emergencies

Rhode Island has been awarded $5.5 million in federal funding to ensure that its medical facilities and health care systems are prepared for natural disasters and public health emergencies.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, announced the funding for the state Department of Health. The grants are administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Most of the money will be used to help hospitals and health care systems prepare for, and respond to, public health emergencies, such as disasters, terrorism, foodborne outbreaks and health epidemics. About $500,000 will go toward improving systems that track infectious diseases and detect and identify public health threats.

Reed says this smart investment will help ensure the health department and hospitals respond quickly and effectively when a major disaster strikes.

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