WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 19, 2016 – Following the devastating and historic flooding in Louisiana, Healthcare Ready, an organization of private healthcare stakeholders and government response entities has been working at its highest level of activation to provide ongoing needed assistance and coordination of response efforts. The following statement may be attributed to Emily Lord, executive director of Healthcare Ready:
Healthcare Ready has been tapped by the offices of the Governor of Louisiana 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 Louisiana stabilizes.
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 coordinate:
- Rx Open: As part of this response, Healthcare Ready turned on Rx Open.org, our online mapping tool which shows open pharmacies in Louisiana. We continue to see high traffic and usage of Rx Open during the response from a wide range of audiences, including healthcare responders in government, private healthcare industry and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
- Prescription Assistance: Healthcare Ready has pursued and supported activation of the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP), which was officially activated by the Department of Health and Human Services at 5:00pm ET on August 19, 2016. 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 a program 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.
- 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 Louisiana are authorized to administer Tdap vaccinations. With flooding 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.
We commend the tireless work of all our partners, especially pharmacy organizations and their pharmacists, for their generosity and efforts to work with healthcare responders to address the needs of patients in this response.
Healthcare Ready continues to closely coordinate with the American Red Cross, the Louisiana Department of Health, and our federal partners, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (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.