In February of 2021, a major winter storm spread across the United States. causing utility outages, closed roads, and deaths. Medxcel operates 139 hospitals and 2600 sites of care across the US, and utilized a corporate emergency operations center to support local teams. Using a standardized and centralized process, we were able to continue full operations at our sites and quickly remediate damages from the event.
This presentation will discuss lessons learned from the 2021 Texas winter storm which paralyzed the state for seven days. For one eighteen-hour period the Ascension, Texas Healthcare Ministry experienced every major disaster event experienced in the preceding five years. This presentation will discuss the implications and impact, of an extended major disaster upon a hospital system.
Discussion will cover the initial response to the winter weather event, activation of emergency plans and day to day hospital operation during the event. The role of safely returning the hospital back to normal operations, and why hospitals need to continue preparing for future events and
Scott Cormier – Medxcel - Vice President, Emergency Management
Mr. Scott Cormier serves as Vice-President, Emergency Management, EC, and Safety, for Medxcel. In this capacity, he oversees Emergency Management, Environment of Care, and Safety for the largest nonprofit health system in the United States. Scott has led large system response to many disasters, and has published articles on hospital preparedness, emergency medical services, and influenza patient safety. Mr. Cormier is a member of the NFPA 3000 committee dealing with Active Shooter and Hostile Event Response. Scott worked professionally for the City of Pittsburgh EMS and River Rescue teams. He has over 38 years of emergency management, public safety, and military experience.
Join us for an insightful exploration into the crucial role of communication in disaster scenarios. This session will dissect the communication failures that were pivotal in several high-profile disasters, including the grounding of the Ever Forward, the crashes of Air Florida Flight 90 and Avianca Flight 52, along with other local incidents. Through these case studies, we'll unveil the complex dynamics of communication under pressure and the dire consequences of its breakdown.
Attendees will gain a deep understanding of the communication challenges faced in emergency situations and how they can lead to catastrophic outcomes. The presentation will focus on identifying the key communication missteps in each case and the lessons learned from them. Additionally, practical strategies to improve communication in high-risk environments will be shared, emphasizing the importance of clarity, assertiveness, and organizational culture in disaster management.
This session is essential for emergency responders, disaster management professionals, and policymakers looking to enhance their communication skills in critical situations. It promises to be a thought-provoking journey into the heart of disaster communication, offering valuable insights for improving safety and efficacy in responding to emergencies.
Terence Sheehy – Dare County EMS - Deputy Chief of Operations
Deputy Chief Terence Sheehy boasts an impressive 26-year tenure in Emergency Services. Currently, he holds the role of Deputy Chief of Operations at Dare County EMS. In this capacity, Deputy Chief Sheehy oversees the daily operations of the department, ensuring efficient and effective EMS delivery across the Outer Banks, a well-known barrier island. His responsibilities extend beyond
routine operations and logistical needs of the department, encompassing the development and implementation of plans with multiple local, regional, and state stakeholders for various special and weather-related operations, including festivals, marathons, flooding, and hurricane responses.
Dare County EMS offers comprehensive EMS services, including 911 emergency response, eromedical services, inter-facility, and scheduled transports, catering to both residents and visitors of the area.
Deputy Chief Sheehy's journey in emergency services began at the age of 17, when he started volunteering at his local fire department. Over the past two decades, his career has spanned a variety of roles in technical rescue, fire, and EMS. Notably, he served as an operations supervisor with Kitty Hawk Ocean Rescue for eight years, where he earned a recognition award from the United States Secret Service for his efforts.
His leadership extends into broader emergency planning and preparedness roles. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Dare County/Currituck County Regional Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and co-chairs the Executive Committee for the Eastern Healthcare Preparedness Coalition. Additionally, he holds the position of an Ambulance Strike Team Leader.
Deputy Chief Sheehy is a recognized voice in the field, having spoken at regional, statewide, and national events. He plays an instrumental role in the development of the North Carolina EMS Officer program, where he also contributes as a faculty member. His academic achievements include a Bachelor of Science Degree in Emergency Medical Care from Western Carolina University. In
December of 2023, he is set to graduate with a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Texas at Arlington.
This breakout session will unpack the predominate “Run, Hide, Fight” active shooter response instructions promoted by multiple law enforcement agencies, including Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as the International Association of Emergency Medical Services Chiefs, and explore its challenges within healthcare settings. While overwhelmingly touted as a short, memorable, and actionable set of instructions for civilians to follow in the event of an active shooter, its phrasing explicitly ignores the presence of the healthcare professional’s primary duty: the safety and wellbeing of their patient. Due to healthcare professionals’ sense of duty to protect their patients, this verbiage has the potential to create immediate internal tensions of cognitive dissonance and moral distress. Those tensions can potentially lead to a lack of action when seconds count. We will share with you how VCU Medical Center has adopted “avoid, barricade, fight” as a tactic that 1) aligns more closely with our overall violence prevention and safety strategy, 2) offers our team members more realistic and feasible response options, and 3) does not risk the immediate internal tensions that “run, hide, fight” creates.
Jen Early– VCU Health - Program Coordinator, Emergency Management
Jen Early is a systems thinker with a reputation for producing results. In 2020, at the height of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jen was asked to organize the emergency management program for VCU Medical Center as it faced unprecedented change. She found she was a natural in the field of emergency management and hasn't looked back. She has over a decade of healthcare, community engagement, and emergency management experience. She believes communities and end-users hold the solutions to society's "wicked problems.” Jen is a highly requested presenter, trainer, facilitator, and consultant. Her background and experience give her unique expertise in optimizing structure and process to produce meaningful change and improved outcomes for
organizations and communities at large.
On April 15, 2022 UNC-Pardee experienced a fire in the wall of the third floor that spread to the second floor necessitating evacuation of multiple patient care units. Smoke reached all four floor of the facility. The facility and the healthcare coalition have a strong pre-existing relationship. Pardee contacted the Coalition for assistance. The timeline of events with the fire, evacuation, smoke damage and water damage from secondary internal flooding will be discussed along with the Coalition's role in assistance during the fire, over the holiday weekend and the flooding that followed. The facility's actions in each of the the disaster life cycle phases will be highlighted.
Mark Stepp– Mountain Area Healthcare Preparedness Coordinator - Regional Healthcare Prepareness Coordinator
Mark Stepp has been a firefighter/EMT since 1988, and started his emergency nursing career in 1989. He has worked in hospitals’ emergency departments and hospital emergency management roles. He holds nursing degrees from AB Technical Community College and Excelsior College, a degree in Fire Science and a Bachelors’ in Emergency Management from Waldorf University. He is credentialed as an instructor with the AHA, NAEMT, FEMA, NC Emergency Management and Office of EMS, and an allied health/emergency services instructor with multiple community colleges. He serves as Safety Officer and Medical Coordinator for Blue Ridge Fire & Rescue in Henderson County, NC and is also certified as a NC ISAAC Field Liaison Officer. Mark joined the North Carolina State Medical Response System in 2004 as a regional training officer, and for the past 13 years has served full-time as the Healthcare Preparedness Coordinator for the Mountain Area Healthcare Preparedness Coalition responsible for an 18-county region in WNC
Michelle Reynolds - Pardee UNC Healthcare - Administrative Director of Support Services
Michelle began employment at Pardee Hospital in 1990 and currently holds the position of Administrative Director of Support Services. Michelle has led Pardee’s emergency management operations for over 8 years and has oversight for multiple departments: Accreditation/Safety/EM, Bio-Med, Environmental Services, Facilities, Nutrition Services, Security, and Valet Services. She is customer service driven and has a passion for helping others. Michelle holds an Associate degree in Applied Science Business Administration and a Manager of Environment Safety & Health certification.
Schools, hospitals, and private/public sector organizations are experiencing increasing internal and external workplace violence incidents. These Incidents often have far-reaching consequences, including impacting staff health (mental and physical), safety, recruiting efforts, and retention.
This presentation contains tips and techniques used to augment and improve private or public businesses' workplace violence programs and plans. Attendees will also be introduced to current best practices and workplace violence prevention trends. Additionally, the presenter will discuss future workplace violence prevention tactics and ideas and demonstrate how to develop employee and community “buy-in” when implementing effective workplace violence prevention programs.
Dr.Roland Camacho– Camacho Consulting
Dr. Ron Camacho is an accomplished law enforcement executive with over 28 years of experience who currently serves as the Chief of Police of the Chambersburg (Pennsylvania) Police Department. Ron is a highly requested speaker and nationally published author on leadership, management, and tactical subjects. Dr. Camacho has international experience as a law enforcement advisor and program manager in Afghanistan and Mexico, providing training and security expertise to in-country police agencies. Ron graduated from the prestigious FBI National Academy, 239th session, and received his Doctorate in Criminal Justice from Penn West University. He owns Camacho Consulting, a leadership, management, and security company that conducts workplace violence security assessments and provides solutions and training to enhance and develop an organization's culture of safety.
The Central Virginia Healthcare Coalition (CVHC) will host a panel discussion on their activation and response to a Full Evacuation and Fire Incident of the South Boston Health and Rehab Facility. This Fire Incident caused the full evacuation of 155 plus residents and staff. The CVHC Regional Healthcare Coordination Center (RHCC) received a Hotline call with notification of the Fire Incident and with a surge of residents presenting as patients to a rural hospital system. The South Boston, VA community's, public safety, emergency management, local church, businesses and healthcare system collectively responded to this emergency to care for and provide a continuity of care to these displaced residence, patients and staff.
Steve Parrott– Central Virginia Healthcare Coalition - Program Director
“Steve” Parrott joined the Central Virginia Healthcare Coalition (also known as the CVHC) in February 2017 as a part time Regional Healthcare Coordination Center (RHCC) On Call Duty Officer. In July 2017 he was hired as the full time RHCC Manager for the coalition after retiring as a Battalion Chief from Chesterfield County Fire and EMS with 34 years of Public Safety Service. On July 8, 2019, Steve was appointed as the Program Director for the Central Virginia Healthcare Coalition.
Steve’s public safety and healthcare experience originates with Tuckahoe Volunteer Rescue Squad where he became a volunteer EMS provider in 1977. Steve continues to volunteer today as a member of the Goochland County Fire and Rescue Department.
Steve holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Organizational Development from Bluefield College and is certified as a Healthcare Emergency Coordinator. Steve is also Deputy Program Manager with the Central Virginia All Hazards Incident Management Team where he serves as one of their primary Logistics Section Chiefs.
Louisiana is well versed in responding to multiple hazards during the summer months. We responded to both Hurricane Ida, Hurricane Laura and Mpox, while simultaneously responding to Covid-19. It is reasonable to say that Louisiana is accustomed to responding to weather related events that involve rain and wind. Louisiana's normal climate shifted in 2023. Our state experienced varying degrees of heat related hazards with a notable absence of one key player, tropical storms. Louisiana experienced zero hurricane landfalls in both 2022 and 2023. Due to the absence of the moisture brought forth by hurricanes, we found ourselves in a new territory as it relates to hazard response. Louisiana issued a heat declaration in response to the record number of days above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The state activated our Emergency Operations Center in response to the record amount of wildfires experienced prior to the official start of Wildfire Season. Our state had four FMAG wildfires in 2023, with no casualties related to wildfires. As we wrapped up response to wildfires another hazard emerged in the next week, Saltwater Intrusion. Each of the 3 hazards listed above required Louisiana to be in a state of readiness or response for majority of the summer. This presentation will share our jurisdictional approach to each of the "Hot Topics" mentioned above and how we successfully expanded our catalog of all hazard response.
Natasha Seals – Louisiana Department of Health/Office of PH - PharmD
Natasha Seals serves as the Bureau of Community Preparedness Deputy Director of Response and Strategic National Stockpile Coordinator. As Deputy Director of Response, Natasha manages the Bureau’s Operations and Logistics sections. Dr. Seals’ work responsibilities include but are not limited to: Deployment of medical resources and equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile, City Readiness Initiative, Points of Dispensing, Sheltering contracts, State Volunteer Services, Mass Fatality, Pandemic Flu, Bus Triage and Federal Medical Stations. Natasha also served as Louisiana’s Opioid Pharmacist Educator for Louisiana Department of Health from 2020 to 2022. Dr. Seals previously served on the Pregnancy Associated Mortality and Review Board and as the Bureau’s liaison for the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program housed within the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy.
Dr. Seals is a practicing pharmacist of 20 years. Her professional roles have included pharmacy management for 15 plus years, Pharmacist in Charge of healthcare services for HIV and Indigent Care patients at a Federally Qualified Health Care Center, 340B contract operations, Prescription Review Specialist for Worker’s Compensation, Medication Therapy Management and Certified Immunization Pharmacist. Dr. Seals is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. Dr. Seals enjoys mentoring future professionals and is honored to have served as an Office of Public Health mentor.
Dr. Seals is a 2003 graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy, where she obtained her doctorate of pharmacy. During her undergraduate and graduate studies, she was inducted into the following professional organizations: Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Kappa Epsilon Pharmaceutical Fraternity and Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Society.
Grady Health System experienced an unplanned downtime that affected all systems reliant on the network. Despite the downtime, as the largest hospital in the state and the only Level 1 Trauma Center and Burn Center in the City of Atlanta, it was imperative that Grady remain open and ready to receive patients. Some systems remained down in excess of 72 hours.
Upon restoration of the network, a focused after action discussion was necessary to develop a robust improvement plan to reduce the impacts of any future downtimes. Grady Health System now has developed a step by step guide to help staff manage downtimes, has improved the downtime tools, and has integrated downtime drills into emergency preparedness.
Lori Wood – Grady Health System - Vice President, Chief Applications & Informatics Officer
Lori Wood is the Vice President, System Emergency Management and has been with Grady Health System for 12 years. Lori holds a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration, Master’s of Science in Emergency Management, an MBA, and is certified by the State of Georgia as an Emergency Management Healthcare Professional. Lori is also the Healthcare Coalition Coordinator for the Metro Atlanta area, is on the Executive Committee of the Southern Regional Disaster Response System, and has oversight of the Georgia Coordinating Center. Additional appointments include the Region 3 EMS Council, BioWatch Advisory Committee, and the UASI Urban Area Working Group.
Lori’s background includes more than 20 years of experience in public safety as a firefighter/paramedic and hazardous materials technician where she was the recipient of commendation from the Georgia House of Representatives for actions performed in the line of duty.
Glenn Hilburn– Grady Health System - Vice President, System Emergency Management
As Vice President, Chief Application & Informatics Officer, Glenn Hilburn brings a unique set of skills to the ever-more important integration of information technology and patient care. Glenn has practiced as a critical care registered nurse, an informaticist, and served in leadership roles for several healthcare software development firms. With his strong knowledge of clinical processes, systems development and informatics, Glenn brings a most important perspective to the use of technology to enhance patient safety, improve care quality, and drive clinical innovation. Under Glenn’s leadership, Grady achieved the prestigious Stage 7 on the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) and has been recognized as Most Wired for the past 11 consecutive years with attainment of the Level 9 distinction in 2021- 23. Glenn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, a Bachelor of Business Administration, a Master of Business Administration, and is a Certified Healthcare Chief Information Officer (CHCIO). He is a Certified Professional in Health Information Management Systems (CPHIMS), a 2020 America’s Essential Hospitals’ Fellow. Glenn is a HIMSS Fellow, a former member of the Board of Directors for Georgia HIMSS where he served as Membership Chair and is active member of the College of Healthcare Information Executives.
The University of Miami Health System and Miller School of Medicine Division of Emergency Management conducted Operation Fallen Archangel in 2023.Operation Fallen Archangel (OFA) is a Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) exercise series culminating with a full-scale exercise. The scenario involves a private jet being shot down in a nation state terrorist attack. The jet crashed in the middle of the Health District and the University of Miami Medical Campus, hitting the Metrorail tracks, a bus with foreign national VIPs on the Medical Campus, and impacting Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center enough to trigger the evacuation of the operating rooms and ambulatory care areas. Half of the exercise series was focused on hospital reunification / victim assistance and the other half is incident response to the downed plane and management of hospital, evacuation of hospital / operating rooms into another sister hospital, accountability and surge at the UHealth Tower ED.
Vincent Torres – University of Miami Health System - Emergency Management Director
Vincent joined the University of Miami in 2014, where he currently serves as the Emergency Management Director for UHealth System & Miller School of Medicine’ Division of Emergency Management. In this role, Vincent supervises a team of emergency management professionals to mitigate risk and ensures the resiliency of the only academic health system in South Florida. Vincent’s enterprise-wide responsibilities include three hospitals and mix of over 40 outpatient clinics, ambulatory surgical centers, academic, research, and administrative facilities spread across four counties on the east and west coasts of Florida.
In addition to his role, Vincent serves an adjacent instructor for the UM Gordon Center for Simulation and Innovation in Medical Education Tactical Medicine Program, where he provides instruction to first responders on Active Shooter and Mass Causality Incidents. Additionally, Vincent serves a Co-Director of the UM Global Institute where he oversees international medical disaster response since 2019 and had lead response efforts in Caribbean.
In addition to his career at UM, Vincent is also an active-duty Deputy Sheriff (Reserve) with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, where he spends his weekends patrolling Unincorporated Central Broward County, City of Lauderdale Lakes as well as manages deployments of the Regional Domestic Security Taskforce’s Mobile Joint Information Center.
Throughout his 19-year career, Vincent has held various positions in the public and private sectors. Some positions include Special Agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s I.C.E. Office of Investigations (Now Homeland Security Investigations), Executive Protection Specialist, Corporate Security Specialist and Sr. Project Manager (Business Continuity/Emergency Operations) with Verizon Terremark. Later, returning to law enforcement where he served as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer (Corporal-Business Continuity Liaison) with the U.S. Federal Reserve Police, before joining the University of Miami emergency management team and the Broward Sheriff’s Office in 2014. From 2014-2018, Vincent served as the Emergency Preparedness & Campus Safety Manager for the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. In addition to his extensive emergency management and law enforcement training, he is a certified Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Deputy and a Certified Healthcare Preparedness Professional (CHEP) by the International Board for Certification Services and Management (IBCSM).
Vincent sat on the Board of Directors, as the Administrative Co-Chair for the Miami Dade County Healthcare Preparedness Coalition and was the founding Co-Chair of the Security & Intelligence Committee (2019-2022). Vincent also served as the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Chief (2021-2022) of the FBI’s South Florida Infragard Chapter and currently serves as an Advisor.
Since 2004, Vincent has responded to and managed various aspects of major emergency incidents, disasters, large scale special events and countless exercises in South Florida and the Caribbean.
His diverse background and experience, supported by his degree in Criminal Justice from Florida International University, has resulted in a comprehensive approach to Emergency Management.
This session's focus will be on lessons learned and considerations for executive officers to prepare their agency for a non-weather event spanning a week. Information and discussion will include citizen notification, evacuation, access control, media relations, handling dignitaries, drone operations, sheltering, emergency operations center & incident command post location and layout, Tier II reporting & access, and environmental impacts.
Trey Mayo – City of Winston-Salem Fire Department - Fire Chief
A 35-year member of North Carolina’s fire service, Trey Mayo has served as the fire chief for Winston-Salem since January 2015. From 1989 to 1995, he volunteered with the Plymouth and Carrboro Fire Departments, and the South Orange Rescue Squad. In 1996, Mayo joined the City of Raleigh Fire Department and was named valedictorian of his fire academy. During his 11-year tenure in Raleigh, Mayo rose to the rank of captain and was assigned to engine, ladder, and rescue companies in south and east Raleigh. Mayo was the deputy fire chief for Carrboro Fire-Rescue from December 2006 until May 2010, when he was appointed fire chief for the City of Rocky Mount, where he served until January 2015.
Mayo holds an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Protection Technology from Wilson Technical Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from North Carolina State University. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program and has completed the Community Preparedness and Disaster Management Program at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health. Mayo is credentialed as a Chief Fire Officer by the Center for Public Safety Excellence and is a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers. He serves on the board of directors of the Piedmont Regional Trauma System and is a member of the Winston-Salem Rotary Club. Formerly, he served as the Southeastern Director of the Executive Fire Officers Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and as the municipal fire representative for NC Domestic Preparedness Region 4.
Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is a comprehensive, integrated, systematic, multi-component crisis intervention model that can be adapted to support responders following any incident no matter how large or small. CISM includes individual Peer Support and multiple group crisis intervention techniques which offer the flexibility to meet multiple responder wellness and mental health needs following a wide variety of Disaster incidents.
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety identified a strategy that prioritizes first responder wellbeing by leading a comprehensive initiative that aims to unify responder support systems. NCDPS, through the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management, is leveraging the value of the Responder Assistance Initiative (RAI) to reach responder groups through coordinated protocols and best practices that integrate peer team providers, embedded behavioral health clinicians, mental health treatment services and professional resources at the highest level.
Ned Fowler– WNC Peer Support Network - Peer Program Director
Retired - EMS Liaison - Mission Hospital; EMS Instructor and Department Chair - Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College; Dean Allied Health and Public Safety - Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College; Associate VP of Instruction - Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College; Paramedic and Operations Supervisor - Buncombe County EMS, Volunteer - Skyland Fire-Rescue. Peer Program Coordinator WNC Peer Support Network; CCISM; ICISF - CISM Instructor.
Aaron Back– NCDPS Responder Assistance Initative (RAI) - NCSHP Captain (Ret)
Retired NCSHP Captain, Founder NC Law Enforcement Assistance Program (NCLEAP), Peer Consultant NCDPS Responder Assistance Initiative (RAI), Director NC Post Critical Incident Seminar (PCIS), ICISF - CISM Instructor, CCISM.
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