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Community Health Centers & Providers

Community Health Centers and private healthcare providers play an essential role in planning for and responding to a citywide public health emergency. Here you will find information, tools and resources to improve mitigation, response, and recovery during emergencies.


Planning Tools

The educational materials below have been created specifically for the primary care sector by the Primary Care Emergency Preparedness Network, which is a joint collaboration between the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) and the Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS) with grant support and intellectual collaboration of the NYC DOHMH Additional Community Health Center resources developed by other healthcare organizations:

  • Emergency Preparedness Plans and Tools: Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) has prepared this guide to facilitate emergency preparedness and response activities by health care providers and their communities. The guide outlines a number of the key plans, tools, and other resources available to support health care providers’ planning and response activities.
  • Emergency Preparedness Toolkit for Community Health Centers and Community Practice Sites: This toolkit, created by the Center for Health Policy and the New York Consortium for Emergency Preparedness Continuing Education (Columbia University School of Nursing), is intended to be used by leadership of community practices to assess vulnerability, create an emergency preparedness plan, train staff on the plan, and evaluate staff's readiness through participation in drills and exercises as well as connect with local emergency planners.
  • Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR):Created to build a more resilient New York City in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  Below are two key recommendations for health care providers:
    • Encourage Electronic Health Record-Keeping: Providers rely on patients’ medical records to provide and track care. However, these important records may be compromised or destroyed due to flooding. EHRs can help prevent permanent loss of data and allow for quick restoration of services after a disaster. The DOHMH Primary Care Information Project (PCIP) seeks to improve population health through health information technology and data exchange. The program supports the adoption and use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) among primary care providers in New York City’s underserved communities and area specialist through a wide- range of services.
    • Telecommunications Strategy: In some cases, patients’ needs can be addressed over the phone when in-person care is not possible. Some examples of this could be for prescription refills, maintenance of chronic conditions, and other questions regarding basic health and safety. Having a back-up phone service allows a provider to offer a basic level of care during and shortly after an emergency that causes facilities to be closed. Some best practices for establishing telecommunications resiliency include directing incoming calls to off-site phones and planning for emergency operations to handle redirected call volume and providing appropriate care. Some options to assist with the creation of a resiliency plan include:

    Option A: Work with a primary phone provider to redirect patients’ calls to alternate phone numbers during emergencies

    Option B: Work with a call answering service to answer calls from patients and connect the provider to the collected information from patients

    Option C: Purchase Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service that plugs into any available internet connection. You may be able to obtain a VoIP device from your existing phone/internet vendor.


Train and Exercise

The resources below (created by the Primary Care Emergency Preparedness Network) will assist Community Health Centers and Private Health Care Providers in designing and conducting exercises to test emergency preparedness capabilities:

Resources

New York State Primary Care Association and Non-Profit Organizations

  • Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS): CHCANYS’ purpose is to ensure that all New Yorkers, including those who are medically under served, have continuous access to high quality community-based health care services including a primary care home. To do this, CHCANYS serves as the voice of community health centers as leading providers of primary health care in New York State.

  • Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC): Founded in 1993, PCDC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding and transforming primary care in under served communities to improve health outcomes, lower health costs and reduce disparities.

Learn more about Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive, Cyber/Power, Extreme Weather, and Pandemic Threats.


Disaster Mental Health

Learn how to cope with stressful and traumatic events. The stress from unexpected emergencies can be overwhelming, but if we are mentally and emotionally prepared, we can manage better. Learn more to understand what you can do to cope with disasters and other stressful and traumatic events.

Identifying and Managing the Care of Patients with Trauma-Related Mental Health Disorder: The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has developed, an interactive, web-based training designed to help New York City healthcare providers identify and manage patients with trauma-related mental health disorders, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, alcohol and substance abuse disorder, depression, and general anxiety disorder. This course, which offers CME and CNE credit, is available free of charge to primary care providers working in New York City.

Note: The development of these materials was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number TP000546 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and/or Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and/or Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Any commercial uses of these materials are strictly prohibited.