History of Regional Resource Centers & NYSDOH Hospital Preparedness Program
In 2002–2003, Federal funding was allocated to support planning and infrastructure development to prepare New York State healthcare systems to respond to bioterrorism, outbreaks of infectious diseases, and other public health threats and emergencies. This resulted in the identification of 8 Regional Resource Centers (RRC) strategically located in the following tertiary care/trauma centers across NYS: Erie County Medical Center, University of Rochester Medical Center/Strong Memorial Hospital, University Hospital/SUNY Upstate, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, Albany Medical Center, Westchester Medical Center, North Shore University Hospital, University Hospital Stony Brook.
Between 2003 and 2012, the 8 RRCs coordinated planning and developed the infrastructure needed to prepare healthcare systems within their respective region for all hazards and public health emergencies. Each RRC developed a regional inventory of resources, identified and addressed workforce training needs, assisted in exercises to identify and address gaps in regional disaster response capability and enhanced/refined plans to improve surge capacity in the regions. This included outreach to planning partners at hospitals, home care, long-term care, local health departments, emergency management services, emergency management offices and other allied support organizations.
Introducing Health Emergency Preparedness Coalitions
HEPC MapIn 2012, the federal guidance required states to develop healthcare coalitions. NYSDOH Office of Health Emergency Preparedness (OHEP) introduced a revised structure reducing the 8 RRC regions to 4 coalition areas. The 4 Health Emergency Preparedness Coalitions (HEPC) are led by the NYSDOH Regional Office Director. The core focus of these HEPCs is on integrating and coordinating Emergency Support Function (ESF)-8 activities as they apply to healthcare and public health emergency planning and response. The 8 RRCs were renamed Regional Training Centers (RTC) with a revised mission to focus on workforce training needs.
Regional Training Centers
In 2014, the national HPP funding was drastically reduced. As a result, NYSDOH OHEP made the decision to reduced the number of funded RTCs through a competitive RFP process. In the end, three agencies were selected and were among the eight that served in the role of RRC/RTC since 2002.
Stony Brook University Hospital: Metropolitan Area HEPC Region (Long Island & Mid-Hudson)
University of Rochester Medical Center: Western Region & part of Central Region
Albany Medical Center: Capital District Region & part of Central Region
SUNY Upstate Medical University: Central New York HEPC Region.
Regional Training Centers (RTCs) are grant-funded entities tasked with identification, coordination, development, delivery, and/or evaluation of emergency preparedness training for members of the Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Coalitions. RTCs are funded by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) through the national Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) grant.