New York City’s Comprehensive Public Health and Health Planning Board Meets Again Virtually
On July 30, 2020, the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) Codes, Regulations and Legislation Committee and the full council met. PHHPC heard a report from Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH), which included a review and update regarding the state’s ongoing efforts to New York in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Zucker invited PHHPC to share any suggestions for continuing to fight the spread of COVID-19 based on his many years of experience.
Dr. Angel Gutierrez, Chair, reported on the Codes, Regulations and Legislation Committee. Specifically, the following three regulatory proposals were discussed and received votes in favor of their adoption:
- Amendments to various sections of the regulations regarding the reduction of annual TB testing of healthcare workers to eliminate serial testing and focus on individual risk assessment and encourage treatment of individuals with untreated latent TB infection, which reflects current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Amendment to 10 NYCRR 709.14 – Cardiac Services, which updates the current Adult Cardiac Surgery Certificate of Need regulation to be consistent with the recommendations of the Regulatory Modernization Initiative.
- Amendments to various sections of NYCRR Subpart 5-1 to incorporate maximum contamination levels for three additional contaminants.
Dr Buford announced that on August 12 there will be a series of joint Public Health Committee and Health Planning Committee meetings. Specifically, there will be two panels focusing on primary care, one on community health centers and the other on public health with geographic diversity and diversity of experience. The purpose of these meetings is to collaborate, gather information and raise awareness of issues that can lead to interventions, actions and potential improvements in health systems. The sessions will be guided by the following three expanded questions: (1) What are the needs and demands that have been felt in primary care and local health services during the COVID-19 pandemic? (2) What are the lessons learned to prepare for a possible new epidemic or resurgence of an epidemic? (3) What could be applied from these learnings in terms of building capacity and/or enabling primary care and public health systems to respond more effectively to creating an integrated system? Throughout the discussions, the committees will also emphasize the needs of vulnerable populations. There will be a second session during the month of August, which will be announced later.
The meeting concluded with a report from Peter Robinson, Chair, on the Project Establishment and Review Committee. All agenda items were approved.
Meeting materials and the webcast can be accessed on the NYS DOH website.
The next meetings of the PHHPC will take place on September 24 and October 8.
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