What is the WATCH coalition?
The WATCH is the West area of Tennessee Coalition for Healthcare. In the early 2000’s the federal government began providing grant funds to hospitals to help them prepare for disasters. Over the years the grant has changed and evolved and we have arrived to where we are today. In the mid 2010’s the endowment grant for each hospital evolved and the WATCH was born. The WATCH is an all-encompassing coalition that includes partners and members from every aspect of healthcare you can think of. Our membership/partnerships are made up of: hospitals, home health, hospice, dialysis, nursing homes, assisted living and homes for the aged, health departments regional and metro, emergency management agencies, emergency medical services, regional medical coordination centers, regional trauma/burn centers, pediatric specialty centers, fire departments, rescue squads and blood donation centers to name a few.
This network of relationships is vital in the times of disaster. The WATCH coalition since its development has been able to provide many assets and funding for various projects in the region. Each year the healthcare coalition, as part of grant requirements, has a region wide surge exercise which incorporates all of our partners in an evacuation surge exercise. The WATCH has also deployed assets to help support strike teams and damaged healthcare infrastructure.
The WATCH has a focus on regional response and coordination. We are working daily to identify ways to strengthen our response to disasters across the region. We focus on projects and purchase assets that are deployable across the region. Working together to make West Tennessee a stronger, safer, and more resilient region is what the WATCH is all about.