Reexamining Health Care Coalitions in Light of COVID-19

Daniel J. Barnett, Lauren Knieser, Nicole A. Errett, Andrew J. Rosenblum, Meena Seshamani, Thomas D. Kirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The national response to the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted critical weaknesses in domestic health care and public health emergency preparedness despite nearly two decades of federal funding for multiple programs designed to encourage cross-cutting collaboration in emergency response. Health care coalitions (HCCs), which are funded through the Hospital Preparedness Program, were first piloted in 2007 and have been continuously funded nationwide since 2012 to support broad collaborations across public health, emergency management, emergency medical services, and the emergency response arms of the health care system within a geographical area. This commentary provides a SWOT analysis to summarize the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to the current HCC model against the backdrop of COVID-19. We close with concrete recommendations for better leveraging the HCC model for improved health care system readiness. These include better evaluating the role of HCCs and their members (including the responsibility of the HCC to better communicate and align with other sectors), reconsidering the existing framework for HCC administration, increasing incentives for meaningful community participation in HCC preparedness, and supporting next-generation development of health care preparedness systems for future pandemics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDisaster medicine and public health preparedness
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Health care coalitions
  • Hospital Preparedness Program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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