Case for Change
In 2012 the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began to more closely align the requirements of the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) and the Public Health Emergency Preparedness program (PHEP) cooperative agreements. HPP and PHEP now require a more integrated approach to emergency preparedness and response that builds capacity across all phases of the disaster cycle: preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation.
In Massachusetts, six regional Health and Medical Coordinating Coalitions (HMCC) will be established, one in each hospital preparedness region, to carry out the functions of healthcare coalitions as described in the federal capabilities. These multi-disciplinary HMCC will simultaneously respond to changing national priorities and fill a critical gap in the current system in Massachusetts that exists because of a general lack of functioning county government or other regional infrastructure. During an emergency, the HMCC will serve a multi-agency coordination function for agencies within a region, providing for more efficient coordination of health and medical activities under Emergency Support Function 8 (ESF-8).