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Disaster Response Policy

Policy Purpose:

In the event of a disaster impacting the graduate medical education programs sponsored by Mount Carmel Health System (MCHS), the procedures contained herein are meant to protect the well-being, safety and educational experience of residents enrolled in its training programs. This policy includes assistance for continuation of resident assignments.

The ACGME has identified the following two scenarios within the scope of this policy:

  • Extraordinary Circumstances: A circumstance that significantly alters the ability of a sponsor and its programs to support resident education.
  • Extreme Emergent Situation: A local event (such as a hospital-declared disaster for an epidemic) that affect resident education or the work environment but does not rise to the level of an extraordinary circumstance as defined in the ACGME Policies and Procedures, Section 20.00.

The Director of Medical Education/DIO, in concert with the Graduate Medical Education Committee, will work to preserve the educational experience of the residents while attempting to restore normal operations of the sponsoring institution-including its clinical sites.


  • In order to maximize the likelihood that residents will be able to complete program requirements within the standard time required for certification in that specialty, the GMEC will make the determination if transfer to another program is necessary.
  • Once the GMEC determines that the sponsoring institution can no longer provide an adequate educational experience for its residents, the sponsoring institution will arrange for the temporary transfer of the residents to programs at other sponsoring institutions until such time as MCHS is able to resume providing education. Residents who transfer to other programs as a result of a disaster will be provided by their Program Directors with an estimated time that relocation to another program will be necessary. Should that initial time estimate need to be extended, the resident will be notified by their Program Directors using written or electronic means identifying the estimated time of the extension.
  • During this time, the sponsoring institution will continue salary and benefit support to the affected residents.
  • If the disaster prevents the sponsoring institution from re-establishing an adequate educational experience within a reasonable amount of time following the disaster, then permanent transfers will be arranged.
  • In the event of a disaster affecting other sponsoring institutions of graduate medical education programs, the program leadership will work collaboratively with the GME Office, who will coordinate on behalf of MCHS the ability to accept transfer residents from other institutions. This will include the process to request complement increases with the ACGME that may be required to accept additional residents for training. Programs currently under a proposed or actual adverse accreditation decision by the ACGME will not be eligible to participate in accepting transfer residents.
  • Programs will be responsible for establishing procedures to protect the academic and personnel files of all residents from loss or destruction by disaster.

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