As of May 23, 2011 New York City’s parks and beaches are smoke-free.
Healthcare institutions provide vital resources in the rapid and appropriate response to public health emergencies. The events of September 11, 2001, the 2001 anthrax attacks and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina emphasize the need for regional, state and local authorities in the NYC metropolitan area to develop the infrastructure and coordinate preparedness planning for the health care response to public health emergencies, especially those due to bioterrorism.
In 2002, the Fund for Public Health in New York (FPHNY) was established to advance the work of the NYC Health Department, and in particular, expedite the launch of the Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Program (HEPP). Supported with federal funding to FPHNY, HEPP is led by the NYC Health Department's Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response. The program aims to identify, evaluate and address gaps in NYC public health and the health care system's overall planning for the mass care response to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. HEPP leverages resources from over 70 hospitals, 200 primary care centers, 84 emergency medical services and key organizational partners to implement planning measures that address key issues of emergency preparedness.
Over the past eight years, HEPP has engaged its health care partners in actively assessing their preparedness for biological, chemical, nuclear, explosive, radiological and other natural or man-made disasters. A fundamental outcome of these efforts has been a well-developed and practiced plan for improved regional integration of health care resources during a public health emergency. Each year, HEPP builds new linkages within the NYC health care system and promotes ongoing collaboration and coordination between the health care system and city, state and other regional agencies involved in health care and first response. To learn more about the NYC Health Department's HEPP program, go to http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/em/emergency-homepage.shtml.