North Help Coalition
The Northern Manhattan Healthcare Emergency Liaison Partnership (North HELP) is led by The Mount Sinai Hospital. North HELP is supported by federal funding which is provided by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and administered by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH). The North HELP Coalition was founded by a group of emergency health care preparedness experts from various national, New York state, and New York City agencies including:
- ESRD Network of New York
- Island Peer Review Organization (IPRO)
- Lenox Hill Hospital
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- The Mount Sinai Hospital
- National Kidney Foundation
- Live On NY
- NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH)
- NYS Department of Health
- The Regional Emergency Medical Services Council (REMSCO)
The North HELP Coalition’s mission is to improve emergency preparedness of providers serving medically vulnerable populations. The Coalition educates and provides resources to share across patients with special medical needs and health systems to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster.
The Coalition, established in 2010, originally focused on cancer patients, transplant recipients, and people with end stage renal disease (ESRD) receiving dialysis. Since 2013, North HELP’s primary focus has been on the dialysis community. In 2017, with the support of the NYC DOHMH, North HELP expanded its scope to include opioid treatment programs (OTP).
Dialysis centers and their patients face unique challenges during natural disasters. Since its inception, North HELP has embarked on many emergency preparedness initiatives aimed at helping providers and administrators develop their emergency management programs and educate their staff and patients. These initiatives are designed with the needs of dialysis centers and opioid treatment centers in New York City.
The North HELP Coalition initiatives include:
- Workshops with healthcare providers and administrators to evaluate risk in order to complete a Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA) and write an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP).
- Drills and exercises that test communication and coordination with the community and New York City emergency response partners to support compliance with new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) emergency preparedness rule a simple process.
- On-site emergency preparedness Outreach Training Program in partnership with the New York City Medical Reserve Corps (NYC MRC) at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). The Center conducts the emergency preparedness Outreach Training Program to train Center staff with the knowledge and material to educate their patients in emergency preparedness.