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Emergency Information Kit: Key Resources for Health Centers

Download the Emergency Information Kit - Key Resources for Health Centers (PDF - 201 KB)

Reporting Operational Status

Why is HRSA asking me to report our operational status during an emergency?

We understand that there are a lot of unknowns during any emergency. By reporting your health center’s status to your state or regional Primary Care Association (PCA), your PCA can help your health center connect and coordinate with local and state resources to support your health center during and after an emergency. This information will minimize requests for updated status reporting and help HRSA better and more quickly identify and communicate specific areas of need to HHS and other federal partners.

Updates should include operational status and any needs for all affected or impacted sites. For example: 

Event 
Type
Health Center Name Affected Site Site 
City
Site State Operational Status 
(Open/Closed)
Primary Reason for Site Closure Comments
Hurricane Mitch Excellent Health Center Chicago Local Clinic Chicago IL Closed Significant flooding  Staff will assess water damage, internet connection, and any other issues once flooding goes down

Temporary Sites & Changes in Scope (CIS)

Can my health center establish a temporary site under our Scope of Project as part of our response to a declared emergency?

Yes. Your health center, whether directly impacted or not, is able to add a temporary site to support your response efforts in the following situations:

  • You are a health center within the geographic area of a declared emergency1  and plan to add a temporary service site within or adjacent to your health center’s service area; or
  • You are a health center in an area immediately adjacent to the geographic area of a declared emergency and plan to add a temporary service site in the area directly impacted by a declared emergency and/or an area immediately adjacent to the impacted area.

What is the process for establishing the temporary site as part of our response to a declared emergency?

You should contact HRSA as soon as possible following the declared emergency to request a Change in Scope to add a temporary site. If that is not possible, you should do so no later than 15 calendar days after initiating emergency response activities at a temporary site. This request should include a brief description of the planned emergency response activities at the proposed temporary service site, the temporary address information, and the date emergency response activities at the site will be/were initiated (if they have already started). Of note, FTCA coverage will only apply to medical, surgical, dental, or related functions provided by covered individuals on behalf of the health center at temporary locations that have been approved within the health center’s scope of project.

To initiate the Change in Scope request:

  • Use the BPHC Contact Form (preferred) or email BPHCOHCPMHCESupport@hrsa.gov to submit a temporary service site request. 
    • To submit a request on the BPHC Contact Form, select Category: Program Monitoring H80, General H80, Temporary Site Request (Emergency Need).
  • If you are unable to access the BPHC Contact Form or email BPHCOHCPMHCESupport@hrsa.gov, please call Health Center Program Support at 1-877-464-4772 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday (except federal holidays)).
  • HRSA staff will go over the requirements and steps of the request process with you.

To learn more about requirements on how to submit a Change in Scope request to HRSA, refer to PAL 2020-05: Requesting a Change in Scope to Add Temporary Service Sites in Response to Emergency Events (PDF - 266 KB).

Volunteers and Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Protections

Can my health center staff, including providers, volunteer at a separate, impacted health center as part of the response to a declared emergency? 

Generally, yes. However, any FTCA protections from your health center WILL NOT carry over to the provider volunteering at another health center. The impacted health center would need to follow the temporary credentialing & privileging (PDF - 243 KB) and emergency Volunteer Health Professional (VHP) application processes (PDF - 244 KB) to extend liability protections to any volunteering licensed or certified health care practitioners.

Requesting Programmatic and Grant Flexibilities for Impacted Health Centers

Are there any programmatic or grant flexibilities available to my health center when we are affected or impacted by an emergency?

Yes. Programmatic and grant flexibilities for health centers affected or impacted by an emergency may be available on a case-by-case basis. 

Examples can include, but are not limited to:

  • Rebudgeting existing grant funding
  • Extending deadlines for: 
    • Grant Applications
    • Progress Reports
    • UDS Reporting
    • Project Periods
    • Service Area Competitions (SACs)
  • Postponing an upcoming Operational Site Visit (OSV)

Affected or impacted health centers in need of any flexibilities must submit their requests through the BPHC Contact Form, Category: General/Other HRSA, Sub-category: Other Topics.

  • If you are unable to access the BPHC Contact Form, please call Health Center Program Support at 1-877-464-4772, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday (except federal holidays).
  • HRSA staff will guide you through the processes for these requests.

Additional Resoureces

For more detailed information, please visit the Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Resources for Health Centers webpage.

Date Last Reviewed:
  • 1An event that has been declared an emergency by local, state, or federal authorities (including HRSA). Examples may include hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, infectious disease outbreaks, etc.