Defining Convention

Although it may not be the main headline coming out of the currently running Republican National Convention in Cleveland, an article in Advance Healthcare Network covers the vital information for healthcare professionals in dealing with the conventions of both major parties this summer. With the Democratic National Convention coming up in Philadelphia later this month, healthcare professionals in both cities are prepared for any contingency. “Likely not as contentious as the RNC, [the Democratic National Convention] — like every national political convention — presents challenges, especially in health and emergency preparedness, simply by virtue of the massive influx of people — and heated opinions — in a concentrated area,” writes Valerie Neff Newitt. “Both the RNC and DNC (designated "National Special Security Events," wherein ultimate authority over law enforcement falls to the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security) could face trouble caused by elements other than the influx of politicos. Public volatility in the wake of recent highly publicized shootings threatens to ignite tinder-like tensions, while the ever-present contemporary threat of terrorism adds yet another layer of fog over public safety.”

These concerns could include also include inclement weather with high humidity, adds Newitt.

She cites preparations in these two cities’ healthcare institutions from multiple sources, indicating an emphasis on mobile on the ground units, interagency task forces, designated personnel to care for delegates, media, visitors and law enforcement and increased staffing. Hewitt spoke to Mark Ross, regional manager, Emergency Preparedness, Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania about the emergency measures that had already been put into place for the visit from the Pope earlier this year.

"We plan for the worst and hope for the best,” Ross told Advance in terms of terrorist attacks. “We have plans, alternate plans, contingency plans, and emergency plans. We go so far beyond Plan A, B, and C that we literally get to double digits in the alphabet. We have anticipated any potential contingency and have made a plan of action for each one."