WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 25, 2017 –With Hurricane Harvey approaching the Texas coast, Healthcare Ready, an organization of private healthcare stakeholders and government response entities is working at its highest level of activation to provide ongoing needed assistance and coordination of response efforts. The following statement may be attributed to Nicolette Louissaint, Executive Director of Healthcare Ready:
Healthcare Ready has been in touch with the offices of the Departments of Public Health and Public Safety, the Texas Emergency Management Agency and several federal agencies to coordinate the sharing of vital information and response between the private sector healthcare industry with partner organizations and government to ensure that medical gaps in the impacted areas are addressed during the response effort. We will remain at ENGAGED status until the situation in the Texas coast stabilizes. We will also monitor any potential damage to Louisiana, which may also be affected by the storm.
Because information can become disjointed during emergencies, we wanted to provide one central repository of information containing the programs we are helping our members and supporters to coordinate. We will also be providing real time updates on Twitter at @HC_Ready.
- Specific Assistance: Healthcare Ready is ready to work with federal, state, local officials, nonprofits and shelters to ensure those affected by Hurricane Harvey can access the medical supplies they need. Throughout our activation we will be in close coordination with Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state emergency operation centers, non-governmental relief organizations and private sector companies to provide assistance to affected areas. Our staff will work with healthcare facilities and organizations in the storm’s path to ensure deliveries and personnel have access to restricted areas to resume operations. As needed, we will share information of medicine assistance programs.
- Rx Open: As part of this response, Healthcare Ready has turned on Rx Open.org, our online mapping tool which shows open pharmacies in Texas and Louisiana.
- Prescription Assistance: Healthcare Ready is tracking the activation of the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP), which can be activated by HHS at the request of the impacted states. EPAP is a federal program which will provide free prescriptions for uninsured patients in the affected areas.
Patients in need of prescription coverage are also encouraged to apply for the free Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) program called PPARx, which is an initiative of the biopharmaceutical industry that helps find a prescription program or free to low-cost clinic that will be a good fit based on the patient’s needs.
The American Red Cross is also providing clients in the shelters with up to $500 co-pay and medicine replacement assistance. The American Red Cross has 30 shelters on standby for evacuees.
- Vaccinations: As the response and recovery effort continues, Healthcare Ready is working to ensure access to Tdap vaccines for both survivors and responders. Currently pharmacists in Texas are authorized to administer Tdap vaccinations. With potential damage of this scale there is a need to increase Tdap immunizations, which protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Healthcare Ready is working with pharmacy groups on next steps to ensure adequate supply at both shelters and in community pharmacies.
Healthcare Ready continues to closely coordinate with the American Red Cross and other relief organizations, officials in Texas and Louisiana, and our federal partners, including HHS and FEMA to provide support and track healthcare operations issues in real-time. If you are seeing potential healthcare disruptions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-247-2694.
# # #
About Healthcare Ready
Healthcare Ready helps to strengthen healthcare through public private collaboration and addressing pressing issues before, during, and after disasters and disease outbreaks. As the convener of industry and government, Healthcare Ready safeguards patient health by providing solutions to critical problems and identifying best practices for healthcare preparedness and response.