Bluegrass Care & Rehab Environmental Services Director Selected as Evaluator for Emergency Preparedness Program

From right to left: Terry Madden, Debbie Kim and Duane Hathaway Jr.

Bluegrass Care & Rehab is proud to announce that its own Duane Hathaway, Jr.,Director of Environmental Services, Central Supply and Safety, has been selected to serve as Evaluator for the 2015 Blue Grass Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) Full-Scale Exercise.

The purpose of the CSEPP exercise is to assess the level of preparedness of the Blue Grass CSEPP community and to protect the general public, the workforce, and the environment in the event of a chemical agent release at the Blue Grass Army Depot located in Madison County Kentucky. The Blue Grass CSEPP community is defined as the geographic area made up of the installation, state, and local jurisdictions that could be affected by a chemical accident or incident (CAI) at the Blue Grass Army Depot. Participating in the exercise were assets from the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency as well as State and Local Authorities. Emergency response is the primary emphasis of each community during a CSEPP exercise.

Hathaway became aware of this opportunity at a local Emergency Operations Center (EOC) meeting in April. Shortly thereafter Duane asked his Administrator, Joni Gosser, if he could submit his biography and references for a shot at being accepted as an evaluator. He has extensive experience in emergency management and was a member of the Florida Health Care Association Disaster Preparedness Committee for a decade. Duane also physically prepared for, responded to and managed the restoration of several catastrophic events, primarily hurricanes at dozens of health facilities. Only a select few civilians with emergency management experience were selected to evaluate with the federal, state and local authorities. Mr. Hathaway received his letter of acceptance in early August from the office of Kentucky Emergency Management. His administrator was extremely supportive throughout the process, even allowing four days away from the facility to participate in this exercise.

Exercise evaluators conducted on-site visits at their respective evaluation sites to review disaster preparedness plans prior to the evaluation. Mr. Hathaway evaluated Eastern State Hospital. All on-site visits were coordinated between the Blue Grass CSEPP staff and the respective jurisdiction to determine arrival times and conduct. During his evaluation Mr. Hathaway had the opportunity to work with Debbie Kim, Senior Research Scientist, APRN, MSN, CHEP a Medical Readiness and Response Consultant for Battelle, the world’s largest non-profit research and development organization. He was also fortunate to work with Chrystal Hackney, PhD member of Clinical Faculty from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) and 18 of her nursing students who acted as nursing home residents transferring to the facility. Lastly, he had the honor to spend time with FEMA Co-Director Terry Madden during the exercise.

The 2015 Blue Grass Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) Full-Scale Exercise was a positive learning experience for all involved. Mr. Hathaway states his time spent building relationships with local emergency management folks was invaluable!. Furthermore, a big take away was the new proposed rule by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) establishing emergency preparedness requirements that should take effect sometime at the end of next year 2016. It will affect conditions of participation for providers such as long term care facilities like Bluegrass Care and Rehabilitation. Mr. Hathaway has already begun discussions with his administrator about bringing their facility into compliance prior to the requirements taking affect.

If there are any facilities that would like information related to the proposed requirements please feel free to email Mr. Hathaway at