skip navigation Smaller text size Reset text size Larger text size
Families & Children Women Teens Adults Seniors People with Disabilities

Press Release

DHHS Collaborates to Increase Oxygen Capacity during a Disaster in New Hampshire
Public Information Office
(603) 271-9391

Visit us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFollow us on Twitter
Communicable Disease Control
Publish Date:
April 8, 2014

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health Services in collaboration with the Emergency Services Unit (ESU) is partnering with the State's Public Health Networks (PHNs) to increase the medical system's capacity to handle patients during a large outbreak or mass casualty event. This is phase III of a program begun in 2008. Phases I and II included the purchase and deployment of ventilators to the acute care hospitals around New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire Critical Care and Supplemental Oxygen Program (CCSOP) is working to strengthen the State’s ability to respond to a catastrophic event. One hundred twenty-five ventilators, machines that assist very ill patients who cannot breathe on their own, were deployed across the State during the first two phases. Phase III involves oxygen concentrators, machines that pull oxygen out of the air for patients with mild to moderate breathing problems. This is called low-flow oxygen.

The NH CCSOP program is providing concentrators to the Public Health Networks and assessing their use as well as tanked oxygen use at alternate care sites (ACSs). These ACSs would be set up by the Networks if the number of ill people exceeds the capacity of the hospitals. The other part of phase III is workshops and exercises intended to improve the ability of the PHN partnerships to provide medical evaluation and care during a major event. Beginning last year, all the Networks have participated in workshops and functional exercises to practice setting up an ACS. Successful implementation of this project will result in the development of a specific medical surge plan to be used in an event.

"This is a huge cooperative effort among the Division of Public Health Services, the Emergency Services Unit, and the Public Health Networks, which means all of the entities they collaborate with including hospitals and other health care partners and local first responders," said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. "This is a vital arm of our preparedness efforts and I want to thank everyone involved for all their hard work on behalf of the citizens of New Hampshire."

This low-flow oxygen program is one of the topics DHHS is focusing on in recognition of National Public Health Week, April 7–11 (#nphw #nhphw). To read more go to For more information on NPHW visit

Translate this page


New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852

copyright 2016. State of New Hampshire