An HCC member is defined as an entity within the HCC’s defined boundaries that actively contributes to HCC strategic planning, identification of gaps and mitigation strategies, operational planning and response, information sharing, and resource coordination and management.
In cases where there are multiple entities of an HCC member type, there may be a subcommittee structure that establishes a lead entity to communicate common interests to the HCC (e.g., multiple dialysis centers forming a subcommittee). HCC membership does not begin or end with attending meetings.
The HCC should include a diverse membership to ensure a successful whole community response. If segments of the community are unprepared or not engaged, there is greater risk that the health care delivery system will be overwhelmed. As such, the HCC should liaise with the broader response community on a regular basis (see Introduction for a list of stakeholders). The list is recreated below, delineating core and additional HCC members.
Core HCC members should include, at a minimum, the following:
- EMS (including inter-facility and other non-EMS patient transport systems)
- Emergency management organizations
- Public health agencies
Additional HCC members may include but are not limited to the following:
- Behavioral health services and organizations
- Dialysis centers and regional Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)-funded end-stage renal disease (ESRD) networks
- Federal facilities (e.g., U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers, Indian Health Service facilities, military treatment facilities)
- Home health agencies (including home and community-based services)
- Infrastructure companies (e.g., utility and communication companies)
- Jurisdictional partners, including cities, counties, and tribes
- Local chapters of health care professional organizations (e.g., medical society, professional society, hospital association)
- Local public safety agencies (e.g., law enforcement and fire services)
- Medical and device manufacturers and distributors
- Non-governmental organizations (e.g., American Red Cross, voluntary organizations active in disasters, amateur radio operators, etc.)
- Outpatient health care delivery (e.g., ambulatory care, clinics, community and tribal health centers, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), urgent care centers, freestanding emergency rooms, stand-alone surgery centers)
- Primary care providers, including pediatric and women’s health care providers
- Schools and universities, including academic medical centers
- Skilled nursing, nursing, and long-term care facilities
- Support service providers (e.g., clinical laboratories, pharmacies, radiology, blood banks, poison control centers)
- Other (e.g., child care services, dental clinics, social work services, faith-based organizations)
Specialty patient referral centers (e.g., pediatric, burn, trauma, and psychiatric centers) should ideally be HCC members within their geographic boundaries. They may also serve as referral centers to other HCCs where that specialty care does not exist. In such cases, referral centers’ support of HCC planning, exercises, and response activities can be mutually beneficial.
Urban and rural HCCs may have different membership compositions based on population characteristics, geography, and types of hazards. For example, in rural and frontier areas—where the distance between hospitals may exceed 50 miles and where the next closest hospitals are also critical access hospitals with limited services—tribal health centers, referral centers, or support services may play a more prominent role in the HCC.