Emergency Preparedness

Background

DCPCA’s emergency preparedness work is supported by DC Health’s Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Administration (HEPRA) as well as HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC).

In March 2015, the District of Columbia Department of Health (now DC Health) established the Health and Medical Coalition (HMC) to capitalize on the District’s unique partnerships and resources in order to strengthen public health and healthcare preparedness and response efforts. The HMC is a partnership of all healthcare facility types, fostering coordinated and inclusive planning, training, and exercise development and providing evaluation and technical assistance.

In 2017, DCPCA joined the HMC as part of their Executive Steering Committee and Core Membership body. DCPCA is a representative of the District’s community health centers and ensures health centers are integrated into preparedness and response activities as identified by the District coalition. Together, the HMC works with DCPCA to ensure a prepared and resilient health care system that has operational plans, trained staff, and adequate resources. This will ensure the coordination and delivery of essential health care resources before, during, and after an emergency.

Core Activities

DCPCA’s emergency preparedness efforts include the following core activities:

  • Convene Emergency Preparedness Task Force meetings quarterly to provide a forum for training and sharing expertise for health center staff.

  • Assess health center needs relating to preparedness, security, and training against requirements and industry best practices. Requirements include the final rule implemented in November 2017 by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) outlining Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers.
  • Develop strategies to close identified gaps and improve the efficiency of ongoing preparedness. DCPCA coordinates trainings for health centers to meet their emergency preparedness requirements and provides technical assistance to resolve shared challenges.
  • Facilitate the exchange of critical information between health centers and District EP organizations and personnel. DCPCA identifies aggregate FQHC needs and communicate to District EP personnel. In turn, DCPCA disseminates key District EP information to health centers. DCPCA represents FQHCs in District-wide initiatives, in particular the Health and Medical Coalition (HMC). This includes active participation in HMC work groups: Data & Assessment; Plans, Policies, and Procedures; Training & Exercise; Communications and Information Sharing.

How to Get Involved

For more information on emergency preparedness or to request technical assistance, please contact our Emergency Preparedness Manager, Michelle Ezeofor, at mezeofor@dcpca.org.