The development and sustainment of Healthcare Coalitions (HCC) is a federal initiative and a requirement of the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) Cooperative Agreement funded by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). The purpose of HCCs is to ensure that local providers and other healthcare partners plan collaboratively for the risks facing healthcare community and identify available local resources.
Healthcare Coalitions have been defined as “a collaborative network of healthcare organizations and their respective public and private sector response partners that serve as a multi-agency coordinating group to assist with preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities related to healthcare organization disaster operations.” — Healthcare Preparedness Capabilities: National Guidance for Healthcare System Preparedness.
The Coalition is intended as a vehicle to coordinate and maintain current hospital preparedness levels while enhancing disaster preparedness and resiliency in other portions of the healthcare system. These efforts also help improve medical surge capacity and capability, further enhancing a community’s health system preparedness for disasters and public health emergencies.
North Central Florida HealthCare Coalition (NCFHCC), which launched in 2016, is NOT designed nor intended to be a disaster response organization. Disaster response activities are managed through existing ESF 8 structures within local jurisdictions as defined in county Comprehensive Emergency Management Plans (CEMP). The NCFHCC does serve a multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency function to coordinate actions and resources during response, based on the networks built through the Coalition process.
It is also recognized that NCFHCC activities will serve to enhance and expand local ESF 8 Health and Medical and regional response capabilities and capacities.
NCFHCC functions include:
Function 1: Develop, Refine or Sustain Healthcare Coalitions
Function 2: Coordinate Healthcare Planning to Prepare the Healthcare System for a Disaster
Function 3: Identify and Prioritize Essential Healthcare Assets and Services
Function 4: Determine Gaps in Healthcare Preparedness and Identify Resources for Mitigation of These Gaps
Function 5: Coordinate Training to Assist Healthcare Responders to Develop the Necessary Skills to Respond
Function 6: Improve Healthcare Response Capabilities through Coordinated Exercise and Evaluation
Function 7: Coordinate with Planning for At-‐Risk Individuals and Those with Special Medical Needs