This Guide is based on Palm Beach County's experiences during the formation and implementation of their tried and tested Healthcare Emergency Response Coalition (HERC)_now a national model_and can serve to direct your community in establishing its own HERC. It provides guidance for developing and sustaining a successful HERC by outlining the steps and activities needed to begin and providing a list of policies and procedures that can be implemented and resources that can be consulted. This information can be applied and customized to any community's specific needs and resources to implement a program that will address any size disaster or healthcare emergency that presents itself.
Jay Lee was the Director of Disaster Preparedness and Response Services for the Palm Beach County Medical Society in West Palm Beach. He has thirty years of experience, consulting with over 100 diverse organizations in a variety of areas, which include behavioral healthcare, critical incident stress debriefing, psychological trauma management, human resources, disaster planning and response, and employee assistance programs. He has published over 20 articles and books on a wide variety of healthcare issues. He has also served as an instructor for the FBI Medical Services, an adjunct faculty member at Lynn University and NOVA University, and the Chief Operating Officer of Osprey Health Care, the largest behavioral health independent provider network in Florida. Thomas W. Cleare currently serves as the Administrator of Health Services and Outreach for the Health Care District of Palm Beach County and is a former Steering Committee Member of the Healthcare Emergency Response Coalition (HERC) in Palm Beach County. He has authored a number of articles dedicated to emergency preparedness and HERC and presented at several national conferences on health policy topics including emergency preparedness and community coalition sustainability. He previously served as administrative and planning support for HERC and was actively involved in the development and sustainability of Palm Beach County's HERC. Mary Russell currently works under contract with Florida Department of Health's Office of Public Health Preparedness as a senior hospital project manager for hospital preparedness projects. She has served as an emergency preparedness coordinator for Boca Raton Community Hospital, as chair of the Healthcare Emergency Response Coalition (HERC) for Palm Beach County, and as a steering committee and general committee member of HERC since 2003. She is also an active volunteer for the Palm Beach County Chapter of the Medical Reserve Corps.