HIV/AIDS long-term costs high—and unaffordable to most-affected countries

first_imgThere will be a significant shortfall in the funding needed for HIV control in sub-Saharan Africa in the coming years and those countries with the highest HIV burden will be unable to meet their obligations on their own to sustain control efforts, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. They calculate that the price tag for providing long-term HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in 2015-2050 in the nine sub-Saharan countries most affected by the epidemic ranges from $98 billion at current coverage levels to $261 billion if coverage is scaled up.“The HIV epidemic is far from over,” said first author Rifat Atun, professor of global health systems. “The magnitude of funding needed to sustain the HIV fight is very large and the consequences of complacency even larger.”The study appears online March 6, 2016 in BMJ Open.Atun and colleagues looked at the nine countries that account for 70% of the HIV burden in Africa—Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. They modeled these countries’ HIV/AIDS funding needs through 2050, based on four different scenarios of coverage levels, using data from Spectrum, a publicly available tool used by UNAIDS.They found that scaling up HIV/AIDS prevention and expanding antiretroviral treatment to all HIV-positive individuals would cost $261 billion. The researchers say that ‘front-loading’ investments now will be necessary to ensure that higher levels of coverage are achieved. This would ultimately reduce HIV transmission and future funding obligations. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Harvard doctor recalls fall of Saigon

first_img The front page of the New York Times from April 30, 1975, reports the evacuation of Saigon. Injured and wearing a cast himself, Bertram Zarins treats evacuees during the fall of Saigon. Bertram Zarins poses in front of a helicopter on board the USS Okinawa. Bertram Zarins photographs the South China Sea while leaning out of a helicopter’s window. An amateur cameraman, Bertram Zarins captures the action unfolding on the deck of the USS Okinawa as he waits to deploy. center_img Marines aboard the USS Okinawa prepare to depart for the U.S. Embassy compound to support the evacuation of Saigon. “I was jogging on the deck and tripped. I fell on an outstretched wrist and broke [it], so I had the guys put a cast on it. When all these injuries came in, I just cut it off and operated.”Later, he and his team took care of the sick and injured at makeshift refugee camps in Manila and accompanied 4,000 refugees on a cargo ship headed to Guam.For Zarins, watching Vietnamese civilians fleeing the communist forces evoked an eerie déjà vu; he had once been “on the other end of it, and now we were helping other people do the same thing.”Born in Latvia, Zarins, his parents, and two young siblings fled Russian troops as they advanced on the country near the end of World War II. “Russians were killing the intelligentsia, and our family was going to get deported or killed. Everybody was trying to get out, so we went to the shore … and we happened to get on a little fishing boat that went to Sweden. It was sort of chance that we even got on.”It was lucky his little brother, Christopher — who would grow up to be chief of vascular surgery at the University of Chicago and then Stanford University Medical Center — made it to the fishing boat at all. To keep the 6-month-old safe from shore-based gunfire, someone had tucked him under a seat in the dinghy that was rowed out to the waiting trawler. The baby was nearly lost in the nighttime chaos.“The last person getting out of the boat happened to stub their toe on him,” said Zarins of Christopher. “Otherwise, they would have left him.” In Bertram Zarins’ busy Boston practice, some patients recovering from surgery hop in on crutches. Others nursing aching knees or shoulders move gingerly as their names are called.Down the hall, the walls of Zarins’ small exam room are covered with the kinds of photos that might be expected from an orthopedic surgeon and former longtime doctor for the New England Patriots, Boston Bruins, and New England Revolution. There are action shots of Drew Bledsoe, Teddy Bruschi, Taylor Twellman, Steve Grogan, and Bobby Carpenter, all signed with notes thanking the Massachusetts General Hospital surgeon for getting them back into the games.Two pictures, separated from the rest, stand out. In one, several servicemen are pushing a helicopter off a naval carrier into the South China Sea. In the other, the chopper has flipped upside down and is slowly sinking beneath the waves. It was Zarins, a doctor and amateur cameraman standing on the deck of the USS Okinawa, who snapped the pictures during the fall of Saigon in 1975.In advance of this weekend’s premiere of “The Vietnam War” a 10-part documentary by filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, Zarins recently recounted his involvement in the evacuation of American personnel and Vietnamese civilians fleeing the approaching North Vietnamese army in April of that year.A former doctor for the Patriots, Bruins, and Revolution, the walls of Bertram Zarins’ office at MGH are covered with signed photos of some of his famous patients. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerZarins had joined the Navy following his medical residency, and he became head of orthopedics at the naval regional medical center on Guam. There he also led the center’s emergency medical team, whose members were trained to set up and man makeshift field operating rooms to treat the wounded. In the war’s waning days, Zarins’ unit got the call to action.“Our assignment was going to be to set up an emergency treatment hospital in the embassy there in Saigon,” said Zarins, the Augustus Thorndike Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. “We were going to be in Saigon because there were 10 communist divisions surrounding it.” A fierce battle and heavy casualties were expected.His group was flown to the helicopter carrier USS Okinawa off the coast of Vietnam, where it awaited the orders to deploy. But the orders never came, nor did the final attack. Instead, the North Vietnamese delayed their invasion long enough for thousands to flee. Some were plucked from the roof of the American embassy by helicopters and shuttled out to sea.“Once in a while, a Vietnamese helicopter would fly over and land on our carrier,” said Zarins, recalling how South Vietnamese army pilots packed their own choppers with family members and friends and flew them to the U.S. ships offshore. “But the carrier could only hold so many things, and there was no room to keep these extra helicopters, so they emptied them out and just dumped them overboard. I was standing on the ship waiting to see what was going to happen — we were just on call, ready to go in — so I took these pictures of them dumping these helicopters in the ocean.”Crew members aboard the USS Okinawa push a helicopter overboard.A helicopter pushed from the deck of the U.S. carrier sinks beneath the waves in the South China Sea.Zarins was pressed into service the following day as injured evacuees were ferried from other vessels to his ship for treatment.“That evening they arrived with 20 serious injuries,” he said, recalling a man who had a compound fracture of his tibia, and another with a broken spine. One young mother’s arms had been crushed between two ships when she reached for her child, who had slipped from her grasp. “She had compound fractures on both elbows,” said Zarins. “We operated for 24 hours straight without stopping. We had to operate in our shorts. There were no more scrub suits or anything like that. We ran out of drills, so we sent to the machine shop on the ship to sterilize their drills.”Ironically, Zarins was also injured.last_img read more

Fence at Capitol blocks DC government from enacting new laws

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — That foreboding black fence erected around the U.S. Capitol building has had an unintentional side effect: walling off the local government’s ability to enact new laws. Under terms of the District’s relationship with the federal government, physical paper copies of all new laws must be hand-delivered to Senate and House leadership. By Monday afternoon, the problem appeared to have been solved. But officials says the episode shines a light on the larger overall issue: the fact that D.C. isn’t a state and needs to run its local laws past Congress in the first place.last_img read more

Shakespeare festival to launch into its 18th year in the summer

first_imgFor its 18th consecutive year, the Shakespeare at Notre Dame initiative will present the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival this summer, drawing upon student and professional talent to bring new life to the Bard’s works. A production of “Twelfth Night,” performed entirely by undergraduate and graduate student apprentices from colleges across the country will tour the Michiana area. Additionally, “Much Ado About Nothing” will be performed on campus by a cast of both student apprentices and professional actors. The festival also features a touring theater company, Actors from the London Stage, one of two major programs managed by Shakespeare at Notre Dame. The initiative’s mission, according to its website, is “to establish Notre Dame nationally and internationally as a center for the study of Shakespeare in performance.” Grant Mudge, former founding artistic director for the Richmond Shakespeare Festival, has served as the artistic director for the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival for the past five years. Although this will be the 18th year of the festival, Shakespeare has been performed at Notre Dame nearly since its founding, Mudge said.“Shakespeare goes back to the absolute earliest years of the University,” he said. “Just a few years ago, in 2014, we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the first ever Shakespeare performance on campus — the first full production. They did scenes of ‘Henry IV’ as early as 1847.”Mudge said the festival has four programs — a professional company, a touring company and both an adult and youth performance of “ShakeScenes,” in which members of the community rehearse and perform 10-minute scenes from Shakespeare, assisted by professional direction, staging and lighting.The cast of “Twelfth Night” will be entirely comprised of graduate and undergraduate students, primarily from Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, but also from other colleges across the country, Mudge said. They will rehearse for three weeks before touring to deliver 10 to 11 shows.“In the morning the apprentices have voice text and movement classes, in the afternoon they have shop assignments — whether that be scene, costume, marketing, lighting or sound, depending on the needs of the week,” Mudge said. “And then in the evenings, they rehearse outdoors. They rehearse their show for three weeks, and then run it on the road.”This year’s professional performance of “Much Ado about Nothing,” Mudge said, will take a very different direction from last year’s performance of “The Tempest.”“Last summer we had the Cirque [du Soleil]-inspired [performance] with aerial acrobatics and one of the world’s greatest jugglers playing Trinculo,” he said. “It sold out the entire run, so this year, one of the big challenges was how we were going to top that. The answer of course, is that you don’t try to top it — you try to do something in a different vein. ‘Much Ado’ will be set in the Second World War era, and we’ll have a live, big band on stage … we began to realize that that generation is leaving us, and we won’t have many more chances to do a sort of love letter like this.“Much Ado seems to speak to a whole lot in our experience, but certainly the experience of coming back from armed conflict, the experience of being ‘right’ in what you know, but then having reason to reevaluate that, and it’s simultaneously a great love story between two of the greatest wordsmith characters of all time, Beatrice and Benedick.”Mudge said it remains important to perform Shakespeare’s plays because of the insights about the human experience in Shakespeare’s writing.“[Shakespeare’s] gift is in finding just that right thread that explores what it means to be a human being on this planet,” he said. “Students come alive when they realize that there’s way more than meets the eye with these plays — way more in the innuendo, way more in the discoveries of insights about human interaction and, as they discover that, the lights really come on and that’s why we keep doing Shakespeare.”Tags: Play, Shakespeare at Notre Damelast_img read more

Exclusive! Act One Star Tony Shalhoub’s Search For the Perfect Tony Tux

first_imgTony-nominated Act One star Tony Shalhoub is an awards show pro—he’s racked up three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for the hit TV series Monk, and two additional Tony nods for Golden Boy and Conversations with My Father. But that doesn’t make the hunt for a dapper tux to wear to the 2014 Tony Awards any less of a challenge! The stage and screen star took a trip to Enzo Custom Clothiers with his pal and honorary “fashion consultant” Harry Belafonte and photographer Bruce Glikas, where Shalhoub was fitted for a custom tuxedo by CEO Eli Sved. Look for Shalhoub in his new midnight blue tuxedo on June 8! Related Shows Star Files Show Closed This production ended its run on June 14, 2014 Tony Shalhoub View Comments Act Onelast_img read more

Samuel L. Jackson & Eugene Lee Team Up for East Texas Hot Links

first_img View Comments Eugene Lee’s play East Texas Hot Links is heading to the big screen with Samuel L. Jackson as co-executive producer. According to Deadline, Lee will adapt his play for the movie adaptation and direct. Filming is scheduled to begin in spring 2016.The play, which premiered in Los Angeles in 1991, follows a small African American community in 1955 Texas. It takes place during a single night in the Top o’ the Hill Café, where a betrayal endangers the lives of the community. The original production starred Loretta Divine.The project marks a reunion for Lee and Jackson; the two appeared in the Pulitzer winning 1982 off-Broadway play A Soldier’s Play. Both are Broadway alums, with Lee appearing in Gem of the Ocean and Jackson most recently starring as Dr. Martin Luther King in The Mountaintop.last_img read more

The January Issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors is Live!

first_imgThe January Issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors is Live! Pick up your copy on newsstands or read online today! QUICK HITSThe dark lord rises in West Virginia • Red wolves and their defenderFLASHPOINTA hiker comes to terms with increasingly crowded trailheads.TRAIL MIXSteep Canyon Rangers’ New Sound • Drew Holcomb’s Handpicked VinylTHE GOODSIditarod runner Peter Ripmaster’s gear picksBEST OF THE BLUE RIDGE AWARDSWho are the top raft guides and most inspiring thru-hikers? What’s the best bike shop in the Blue Ridge? Thousands of readers from across the region voted in our seventh annual Best of the Blue Ridge Awards, which include 75 categories from the A.T. to zip lines.BLOOD ON THE ROADCollisions and clashes between motorists and cyclists are on the rise. How can our roads be safer for everyone?NATURAL ASSETSCan outdoor recreation replace the extractive industries that have dominated the mountains for more than a century? Meet the outdoor entrepreneurs and leaders rebuilding regional economies and transforming Appalachia.RIDING THE IDITARODAppalachia’s John Logar won the 1,000-mile footrace in 2014. He’s headed back to the Alaskan race in 2018—this time, on his bike.last_img read more

How bad content is undermining your marketing strategy

first_img continue reading » Financial institution marketers pour a great deal of time, energy and money into providing content for their consumers. The hope is that, through this content, consumers will be swayed to at least give that institution a chance at their business.Unfortunately, many financial education marketers inadvertently cripple their content marketing efforts by committing one or more no-no’s when it comes to communicating with consumers.Below please find a few examples of these “dont’s” and what you can do to avoid them in the future.Writing too much. In this day and age, busy consumers simply will not give you time to read lengthy marketing materials. Rather than trying to cram every possible word onto your printed materials or website, learn to use words sparingly. Go for bullet points, concise ideas and condensed thoughts. Cut the copy whenever possible.Writing for too broad an audience. Financial institutions often try to be all things to all people. It simply won’t work. Banks and credit unions do best when they find their niche among consumers. Once you find that niche, tailor your content marketing to address it. Use relevant wording, testimonials and examples relevant to that target audience. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

The value of a multiple common bond

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Choosing the right charter for FOM (Field of Membership) expansion is vital to a credit union’s strategy for growth. Institutions are offered the opportunity to operate under three specific types of charter: single common bond, community or multiple common bond. The choice will determine the future of the credit union, from regulatory requirements to growth to marketing investment.Historically, credit unions focused on a sole group or physical location, which has allowed for strong, intimate member relationships, but that arrangement has not always facilitated growth. For credit unions in this position that wish to expand their FOM while maintaining a close connection to their members, the multiple common bond may be an avenue worth pursuing.“Multiple common bond credit unions want to grow beyond a single market,” Sam Brownell, founder/CEO of CUCollaborate, said. “They want to preserve their identity with their SEGs (Select Employee Groups) with the benefits of a community charter.”A multiple common bond credit union is chartered to serve a combination of distinct, definable single occupational and/or associational common bonds. According to the NCUA, this may include “an employer-based group or persons employed within a Trade, Industry or Profession” or “a member-based group meeting the NCUA’s threshold requirement and totality of circumstances test.”last_img read more

Governor Wolf Requests Federal Disaster Aid for March Snowstorm

first_img Latest News,  Press Release,  Weather Safety Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today sent a letter to the President, requesting federal disaster aid for Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Northumberland, Pike, Wayne and Montour counties to help offset the financial burden of a record-breaking snowstorm that crippled much of the northeastern part of the state in March.“This snow storm required the resources of all state and local snow removal capabilities, including state and local road crews and equipment, and countless hours of staff time to ensure the health, welfare and safety of the public and property. The closure and slowing of mass transit then caused a ripple effect in the lack of access to critical facilities,” Governor Wolf said. “The severity and magnitude of this storm stretched our commonwealth resources well beyond their limits, which is why supplemental federal assistance is now necessary.”The major disaster declaration through the Federal Emergency Management Agency would provide federal funding to local, county and state governments, as well as certain eligible non-profits in those counties through the Public Assistance program. Applicants can be reimbursed up to 75% of the costs incurred on eligible expenses for the eligible 48-hour time period. Eligible expenses can include but is not limited to: costs associated with paying overtime, repairs to damaged infrastructure, equipment rentals and materials.The overall total costs associated with this request, as validated by the Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment conducted by PEMA and FEMA, are $7.2 million: May 02, 2017 Wyoming County$248,957 Luzerne County$2,640,384 Montour County$114,796 Susquehanna County$328,926 The governor signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, which is a required step in order to request federal aid, for this storm on March 13.The full text of the letter is below:Dear Mr. President:Pursuant to the provisions of section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5170 (Stafford Act), and implemented by 44 CFR § 206.36, I request that you declare a major disaster for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (the Commonwealth), as a result of  Winter Storm Stella, a severe snow event, that impacted Pennsylvania during the period of March 13 through March 16, 2017.  I have determined that the disaster is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the Commonwealth and that supplemental federal assistance is necessary.  I am specifically requesting a major disaster declaration for a snowstorm, including all categories of work available under the Public Assistance program for the counties listed below.  The Commonwealth is also requesting Hazard Mitigation, for the affected counties.  The Commonwealth reserves the right to add additional counties to this request.For this request, the following counties in Pennsylvania are core counties that have met record, or near record snowfall totals pursuant to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide, Appendix H:  Snow Assistance (FEMA Snow Policy) and have met the per capita threshold: Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Susquehanna and Wyoming.The following county is contiguous to the above listed core counties that have met the required record snowfall totals pursuant to FEMA Snow Policy and the per capita threshold:  Wayne.I. STATE OF EMERGENCYOn March 13, 2017, I declared a disaster emergency throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania due to the impending effects of the severe snow event.  As part of this proclamation, I directed that appropriate response action be taken, and that the Commonwealth’s emergency operations plan be executed.The following counties within Pennsylvania also declared disaster emergencies: Berks, Carbon, Chester, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Luzerne, Perry, Schuylkill, Susquehanna and Wayne.The snow event resulted in damages of approximately $7,200,000, to date.  This snowstorm produced heavy snowfall across the entire northeast corner of the Commonwealth, prompting the National Weather Service to issue blizzard warnings for much of eastern Pennsylvania.  The storm consisted of high winds and strong gusts creating periods of near-blizzard conditions accompanied by very cold air and sub-zero wind chills.  The storm was rated a Category 3, or Major storm, on the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS) scale.  These severe weather conditions generated significant transportation issues including preemptive road closures, numerous accidents, disabled or stranded vehicles, which caused the closure of portions of the Commonwealth’s major transportation corridors, including Interstates 81, 80, 84, 380, and portions of the Northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  An avalanche closed a vital auxiliary route between 2 of the affected counties for the duration of the event.  The conditions generated significant life-safety issues requiring a variety of critical resource and support needs, such as: rescue and evacuation of stranded motorists; wrecker service with recovery staff; generators; transportation of emergency workers; and effective communications.  Significant delays were also realized in truck service, mass transit, and some regional and international airports.  Continued state assistance, support and monitoring were required as the snow event continued.  The severity of the snow storm depleted financial resources for many of the municipalities located in the affected counties, including one already designated a financially distressed city pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Municipalities Financial Recovery Act, Act of 1987, P.L. 246, No. 47.II. RECORD OR NEAR RECORD SNOWFALLBased on our analysis using historical weather snowfall records provided by National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), current snowfall data also provided by the NECI, and the National Weather Service per FEMA Snow Policy, 8 core counties experienced record or near­ record snowfall for either one or two day periods, and one county met requirements to be considered a contiguous county.  Nine counties met the snow threshold and have estimated public assistance costs, including snow assistance costs within a 48-hour period, that meet the county per capita cost threshold required for a major disaster declaration.In addition to generating record or near-record levels of snowfall throughout significant portions of the Commonwealth, the storms negatively impacted road conditions, accessibility and mobility. These conditions provided major challenges to the public safety community in supporting basic and event-related emergency services as well as disaster response needs at the municipal and county levels.  The conditions also created major public safety situations in many areas of the Commonwealth.  It required the mobilization and deployment of a variety of local, state, volunteer and private resources to address emergency needs and public safety issues associated with the event.  As previously stated, portions of the Commonwealth’s major transportation corridors were closed for extended periods of time, placing additional demands on other segments of the system.  Basic access along the Commonwealth’s transportation system had to be maintained to ensure the capability of providing essential emergency services and resource support to the required areas.Given the characteristics and associated impacts of this event, snow removal assets at the local and state levels were primarily dedicated to maintaining access to and along major roads and highways to the detriment of snow removal on secondary, residential, and municipal roads during the period of March 13, 2017 through March 16, 2017.  Continued work was required to conduct snow removal operations on these secondary roads to ensure that basic emergency services could be provided during this event.III. IMPACT ON THE COMMONWEALTHThe impact on the Commonwealth from this severe winter snowstorms can be examined from different perspectives, for example, human resources and infrastructure.A. Human ResourcesThis snow storm required the resources of all state and local snow removal capabilities, including state and local road crews and equipment, and countless hours of staff time to ensure the health, welfare and safety of the public and property.  The closure and slowing of mass transit caused a ripple effect in the lack of access to and staffing of critical facilities.In addition, Voluntary Organizations Active in a Disaster (VOAD) provided resources and conducted activities in response to this disaster. For example:American Red Cross provided continuous Agency Representatives (AREPS) to the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center (CRCC for coordination of possible sheltering operations and other unmet needs.Pennsylvania VOAD executive committee maintained communications and interagency coordination between the CRCC and member organizations for delivery of emergency assistance.State, county and volunteer services provided hospitals with transportation assistance for patients and staff.VOAD members provided material and personnel support to Emergency Support Function 6 (Mass Care) and Emergency Support Function 8 (Public Health).B. InfrastructureThe Commonwealth’s infrastructure was also greatly impacted by the snow event.  Local governments and public schools were closed for multiple days.  The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport remained open, but had limited runway availability, restricted air operations, and suffered cancellation of many flights, which led to delays, loss of revenue, citizen confusion, and additional taxing of emergency management efforts at state and local levels.Some state and regional bus services were cancelled or delayed and other mass transit systems, if not cancelled or delayed, ran significantly behind schedule.  Authorized waivers were issued to facilitate transportation activities, and to mobilize employees.  Pennsylvania counties used crews from local public works departments, which incurred additional costs and severely depleted local supplies of road treatment materials.IV. STATE AND LOCAL RESPONSE TO THE DISASTERThe CRCC was activated on March 13, 2017.  This activation included pre-positioning PEMA personnel in the three area offices located in the east, west and central portions of the Commonwealth.  PEMA coordinated with the National Weather Service, local jurisdictions and state agencies on March 13, 2017, concerning the severe winter storm forecasts and potential impacts associated with the level of snowfall and high winds.  The CRCC fully activated all Emergency Support Functions on March 14, 2017, and did the following: monitored the storm and interfaced with localities and state agencies projected to be impacted by the storm; disseminated the necessary public information and guidance to the public; responded to media inquiries; mobilized and pre-staged resources to effectively respond to local and regional requests for assistance; and responded to requests for assistance, as required.The CRCC logistics section coordinated resource requests for unmet needs, conducted the procurement of assets and supplies; and supported CRCC operations with information technology services, communications, provision of meals, security and safety.After response operation subsided, PEMA reviewed and evaluated Preliminary Damage Assessments received from affected localities and state agencies.  Historical snow totals were provided by the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).  The event snow totals were compared with the NCEI historic snowfall record database.  Damage costs were compared with per capita thresholds.  All data that was consistent with the FEMA Snow Policy, and met per capita thresholds was provided to FEMA Region III for review, which served as a partial Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment.The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) conducted statewide snow removal operations for interstate highways and other roadways.  District incident command centers were activated and roads were closed, including: Interstates 81, 80, 380, 84 from below Interstate 80 to the New York State line.  During the storm, PennDOT monitored road conditions; reduced speeds on designated roads; coordinated the closure of designated roads; activated variable message signs (VMS) with emergency messages; and responded to accidents and emergencies.A waiver of the federal motor carrier hours of service regulations was implemented by PennDOT for the period of March 15, 2017, through March 20, 2017.  This waiver ensured that carriers delivering essential food, dairy products, pharmaceuticals to food distribution, retail and wholesale food establishments, as well as transportation and distribution of agricultural feed.The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission conducted statewide snow removal operations on the Pennsylvania Turnpike; assisted stranded motorists; and set up detours when accidents closed portions of the Turnpike.Nine hundred and forty-five (945) Army National Guard personnel were activated to perform multiple statewide missions that included: transporting emergency medical personnel and patients; assisting with highway closures; transporting citizens to warming centers; transporting cots to shelters; transporting Pennsylvania State Police troopers to police incidents; supplying food, water and other necessities to stranded motorists.  Over 25 Humvees, or other high profile vehicles were utilized in the response efforts.  In addition, the National Guard, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Department of Transportation coordinated personnel to transport a critically ill child from East Stroudsburg to the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville during the height of the storm.  This trip was well over eighty miles one way.The Pennsylvania Department of General Services monitored all Commonwealth owned facilities and equipment; researched Commonwealth equipment to determine if resource requests could be filled; advised on the need for Commonwealth Agency Office closures due to the severity of the weather; and provided for the utilization of any requisite emergency procurement and contracts.  All Commonwealth Agency Offices in the central, northeast and southeast part of the state were closed on March 14.  Commonwealth Agency Offices were again closed on March 15 in the northeast, and delayed in central and southeast Pennsylvania.The Pennsylvania Department of Aging monitored emergency meals provided by the Area Agencies on Aging, and ensured contact was made with citizens to verify their condition and well­being.The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources utilized four-wheel drive vehicles to transport CRCC personnel to and from PEMA in central Pennsylvania, and assisted in snow removal activities in the most severely impacted counties in the Northeast corner of the state.The Pennsylvania Department of Health monitored emergency medical response statewide to determine if allocation of emergency response equipment would be necessary and verified one fatality in Susquehanna County with the Pennsylvania State Coroners Association.The Pennsylvania State Police responded to police incidents, assisted with highway closures, and established detours around closed roads.  The Pennsylvania State Police also conduct life-safety checks to stranded motorists throughout the counties affected by the snow event.The Pennsylvania Game Commission also assisted in snow removal activities in Luzerne County, utilizing available heavy equipment that was brought to the affected counties from other areas of the Commonwealth.V. RECENT DISASTER HISTORYOver the last twelve months, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has declared 2 proclamations of disaster emergency.  In October of 2016, the Commonwealth experienced heavy rain and flooding that resulted in a Presidential Declaration of Major Disaster.  Some of these areas are again directly impacted by this snow event totaling $540,823 in damages.During this event, the Commonwealth experienced severe winter storms and resulting effects to warrant a Governor’s proclamation of disaster emergency.  The March 2017 winter storm warranted the Commonwealth’s supplementation of county and municipal efforts, and included direct assistance from the Commonwealth valued at approximately $467,000.VI. CURRENT DAMAGES – 2017 WINTER SNOWSTORMPreliminary Damage Assessments (PDA) were conducted with local governments, authorities, counties and state agencies.  These PDAs provided cost information to PEMA from the local governments, authorities, counties, state agencies and eligible private, non-profit entities.  The information contained in the PDA included, but was not limited to equipment costs, force account labor costs, material costs, and other information that is consistent with the FEMA Snow Policy.Finally, I have designated Mr. Jeffrey Thomas (Mr. Thomas) as the State Coordinating Officer for this request.  Mr. Thomas will work with FEMA to provide further information as needed on my behalf.Sincerely,TOM WOLFGovernorGovernor’s Declaration Request to President – Winter Storm Stella by Governor Tom Wolf on Scribd Governor Wolf Requests Federal Disaster Aid for March Snowstorm Northumberland County$420,817 State Agencies$67,940 Lackawanna County$2,022,195 CountyCosts Wayne County$470,254 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter TOTAL$7,215,651 Pike County$360,559 Bradford County$540,823last_img read more