Association Staff Attend Statewide Emergency Planning Meeting

Karen Morris in Clinical & Quality

In late March of this year, the New York State Office of Emergency Preparedness held its annual Statewide Administrative Meeting (SAM) in Saratoga. NYSHFA staff, Karen Morris and NYSCAL staff, Shelley Sabo and Carla Erhartic attended the day and half meeting. The goal of the meeting was “to provide a forum to strengthen emergency preparedness capabilities through coordinated efforts and collaboration with emergency preparedness partners.” Michael Primeau, Director, Office of Health Emergency Preparedness (OHEP), opened the meeting with a review of the timeline related to emergency events that have effected various parts of the state over the past 15 years to which the OHEP has responded.  In 2002–2003, following the events of 9/11, Federal funding was allocated to support planning and infrastructure development to prepare the New York State healthcare systems to respond to public health threats and emergencies.

In 2012, the federal guidance required states to develop healthcare coalitions. The NYSDOH Office of Health Emergency Preparedness (OHEP) created four Health Emergency Preparedness Coalitions (HEPCs) which are led by NYSDOH Regional Office Directors. 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. Statewide Healthcare Provider Associations (including NYSHFA and NYSCAL) participate as active partners in these coalitions.

OHEP and HEPC directors reviewed their respective capabilities and deliverables to increase the attendees’ awareness of opportunities for collaboration among community partners. The roles and responsibilities of the HEPC during emergency situations and the implications of DSRIP and the managed care transition for healthcare partners, as it related to emergency preparedness, were discussed during panel presentations which included representation from the NYS Office of Health Insurance Programs.

The statewide associations play a vital role, in collaboration with the state and regional emergency preparedness offices, in coordinating the linkages necessary to assist long term care providers with their emergency planning and training.


Karen Morris, RN, MS
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15