Community-Based Care Center Toolkit

Using this Toolkit

This toolkit was created by the Center for Disaster Medicine at New York Medical College under contract with the New York State Department of Health. It is designed to help New York State counties and municipalities plan for their citizen's health and medical needs during a pandemic event. Enclosed are guidance, templates, and tools derived from Alternate Care Site pilot grant recipients in New York State as well as from state and local governments across the country. These best practices, along with input from subject matter experts in public health emergency planning, may serve as resources for any county or local planning initiative developing government-authorized Community-Based Care Centers (CBCCs) during a pandemic or other public health emergency.

In all emergency planning it is recommended that localities and states comply with the federal government's requirement to conform to the National Incident Management System (NIMS). In this light, state and local plans need to conform to the National Response Framework (NRF). Within the NRF there are Emergency Support Functions (ESF) that delineate which agency will be the lead agency for various functions of emergency planning and response. Consistent with this model is ESF 8 (Public Health and Medical Services) which relates to the creation and operation of a CBCC in the setting of a public health emergency or pandemic. ESF 8 charges the Department of Health and Human Services as the lead agency for coordinating planning and response efforts for this function. As such, it is recommended throughout this toolkit that the local/county health department take the lead role in coordinating planning for this purpose. While theoretically any agency could be assigned this role by the local executive, for this document and consistent with NIMS, the local health department is designated the lead agency.

Although this toolkit provides templates and recommends best practices, localities should consider the advice provided as guidance and should follow the emergency planning practices most commonly used in their community. Not all questions about planning for CBCCs will be answered. But, this will help planners identify problems and potential solutions if they use a team approach involving other community stakeholders, regional partners and New York State government.

Even though this guidance is provided by the New York State Department of Health, it is designed to be used by any lead agency charged with coordinating this type of emergency planning. This includes offices of emergency management, emergency services, or departments of health.