- North Carolina
In 2008, Guilford County Department of Public Health (GCDPH) initiated a new at-risk population project coordinated by the special needs subcommittee. In an effort to improve upon some of the limitations of traditional special needs registries, GCDPH sought to establish a registry of agencies and organizations that maintain databases of individuals in at-risk populations within the county. Since these databases are routinely used by partner agencies to provide services to at-risk populations, they are often updated and have the most accurate data on the current needs of at-risk populations in the county. As such, these databases would be helpful to GCDPH and other responding agencies to reach at-risk populations in need during a public health emergency.
The first step in the project was to catalog all of the agencies in Guilford County that serve at-risk populations. This list includes home health care and hospice agencies, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, independent living facilities, shelters, and organizations that serve the elderly and disabled. Next, GCDPH surveyed a sample of these agencies to identify needs and get a better sense of what types of data are available on their special needs population. Once the survey data is analyzed, GCDPH intends to explore the development of memorandums of agreement with the larger organizations to assure access to special needs data during an emergency.