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Beebe Healthcare practices a mass medication distribution exercise as part of its Disaster Preparedness

Every once in a while, a television crime show will portray a plot by the bad guys to poison a city full of people with anthrax. The good guys always stop them, just in time.

These fictional stories remind us of the 2001 incident when anthrax spores were sent through the mail killing five people and infecting others, and the real plans by federal, state and local authorities to prepare for another such situation to happen. Recently, Beebe Healthcare took part in a statewide exercise to practice the distribution of medication to team members, and all those in their households, that would protect them against illness after exposure to anthrax.

The Medical Center’s Sunshine Café was set up as the area in which medications, in the form of pretzels and M&M candies, were handed out to more than 200 Beebe participants. The Beebe Medication Distribution Planning Committee organized the exercise and followed federal emergency protocols.

“This exercise was just another in our overall emergency preparedness program,” said Cheryl Littlefield, RN, CHEP, Emergency Management Coordinator for Beebe Healthcare. “As the Medical Center in this part of Delaware, we have to be prepared for so many emergencies, whether they are weather-related, such as hurricanes, or they deal with spills of toxic chemicals or biochemical weapons.”

Beebe works closely with federal and state emergency organizations, as well police and emergency medical services.

Caption: Lisa L. Deal, PharmD, BCPS, BSN, RN, Emergency Medicine Pharmacy Director and pharmacotherapy specialist at Beebe Healthcare, is pictured in the foreground preparing to hand out the ‘fake’ medicine during the mass medication distribution exercise.

Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. It offers services throughout Southern Delaware for residents and visitors, including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities providing walk-in care, lab, imaging, and physical rehab services. For more information, please visit us online at