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EM Team Attends 2nd Emergency Preparedness Symposium Meeting

February 28, 2019


The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) hosts a regular meeting for the members of the New York City Health Care Coalition (HCC), called Emergency Preparedness Symposium (EPS). This meeting provides relevant information on emergency preparedness for all the coalition partners.  


On February 14, 2019, CHCANYS emergency management team attended the second EPS and here are the highlights from the meeting:



Emergency Preparedness Symposium (EPS) # 2


This meeting was jointly hosted by DOHMH and the Queens County Emergency Preparedness Healthcare Coalition (QCEPHC), of which CHCANYS is a member. The meeting was held at the New York City Health + Hospitals' Queens Hospital in Jamaica, Queens. 


Opening remarks were provided by Dr. Celia Quinn, Director of the DOHMH Bureau of Healthcare System Readiness. Dr. Quinn provided quick updates on the DOHMH preparedness activities, as well as what to look for down the road, including the upcoming funding opportunity for the Hospital Preparedness Program by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).


The main focus of the whole meeting was preparedness of facilities for medical surge and evacuations. Darrin Pruitt, Deputy Director (DOHMH) and Les Welsh, Emergency Response Coordinator (DOHMH) presented on the mandatory coalition-wide exercise Surge Ex 2019. They provided relevant updates and what the exercise participants can look forward to.


The meeting continued with presentations by Tina Hess, Manager at St. Mary's Kids, pediatric long-term care facility; Trientina Campbell, Director of Environmental Safety at Richmond University Medical Center, and Joseph Marcellino, Associate Director of Emergency Management at NYC H+H Coney Island Hospital. These three presenters took turns in discussing their respective facilities' plans, challenges and lessons learned, when it comes to facility evacuations and operations during medical surge. 


Shannon Ethier, Deputy Director at the New York State Department of Health (SDOH), presented on the state-wide electronic systems for situational awareness, evacuation and patient tracking. She reviewed new updates and changes coming up for the users. 


Regional Emergency Medical Service Council of New York (REMSCO) presented on transportation resources for surge and evacuation events, highlighting best practices for those facilities engaged in patient evacuations, particularly when it comes to the Healthcare Facility Evacuation Center (HEC) activations.


The meeting was adjourned after a round of questions and answers. 


To learn more about New York City Health Care Coalition and citywide healthcare preparedness activities, contact CHCANYS EM Team / PCEPN at


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