2023 Disaster Planning Conference

October 3-4, 2023

Restore our purpose.
Refocus on what’s ahead.
Learn new things.

For three years, the pandemic response has taken our attention and resources. We can’t forget there are other disasters that need our focus. From earthquakes and floods to violence in our facilities, disaster teams have been prepared to care for our communities, yet we can’t forget about ourselves in the process.

It’s time to restore our purpose, refocus on what’s ahead, and learn new things.

Note: Livestreaming includes all keynote and general sessions plus select breakout sessions being held in the general session room.

Tuesday, October 3

8:00 – 8:45 a.m. | Check in, Exhibitor Viewing and Best Practices Poster Showcase

8:45 – 9:15 a.m. | Opening Comments
Mary Massey, Vice President, Policy, California Hospital Association

9:15 – 10:15 a.m.  | Keynote Session  Cultivating Energy in Our Modern World
Natalie Johnson, MS, Co-founder & Chief Visionary Officer, ViDL Solutions

We know the value of caring for others and taking care of health better than anyone. But we don’t do a good job ourselves. The last few years have given everyone a gift. We have an opportunity to pause and look at how we’re doing things and re-evaluate if our strategies are working (or not). During this presentation, we’ll be challenged to make personal commitments to showing up as the best version of ourselves.

10:15 – 10:45 a.m. | Exhibitor Viewing and Best Practices Poster Showcase

10:45 – 11:45 a.m. | General Session — Utility Response During Emergency Events
Kristen Burke, Strategic Account Manager, Brian Ambrosini, Manager of Institutional Accounts, and Tom Smith, Senior Manager, Customer Emergency Operations, PG&E

This presentation will describe PG&E’s overall Incident Command Structure (ICS) during event activations, the power outage restoration process, and will provide real-life examples of emergency events that impacted hospitals. The presentation will include an overview of the process to coordinate response safely and efficiently to an emergency event affecting gas or electrical system from planning, activation, assessment, restoration, and deactivation.

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Hosted Lunch

12:15 – 12:30 p.m. | Sponsored Session — Earthquake Early Warning Meets Actionable Information
Brandon Parrott, Kinemetrics, Inc.

12:45 – 1:45 p.m. | Concurrent Breakout Sessions (choose one)

Expanding Acute Care Capacity Due to Pediatric Surge (Pediatric – Livestream)
Jeanette Abundis, RN, MSN, CNS, NE-BC, Senior Director – Emergency and Critical Care Services and Carole Snyder, Director of Emergency Preparedness, PIH Health Whittier Hospital

This presentation will address how PIH Health created a comprehensive enterprise plan to support pediatric medical patient needs in the event the LA County (LAC) Pediatric Surge Plan activation or pediatric transfers for higher level of care are severely delayed due to limited capacity at pediatric hospitals or pediatric units due to overwhelming regional/national surge.

The Process Works: An RDMHS Panel Discussion (Disaster Planning 101)
Patti Carter, BA, EMT, Regional III RDMHS, Sierra-Sacramento Valley EMS Agency

The California team of RDMHS’ will speak in a panel style presentation that will feature true event examples of medical health resource requests that were filled from within and outside the region. These examples will include the challenges faced and how they were resolved.

UCLA’s Health Approach to Preparing for a Ransomware Attack (Cybersecurity)
Alex Lichtenstein, Program Manager, Emergency Preparedness & Business Continuity, UCLA Health

Learn how UCLA Health developed an executive ransomware playbook to guide leaders on the initial detection, confirmation, institutional response priorities, and decision making following a cyber-attack. Participants will gain a thorough understanding of the unique threat profile that a cybersecurity incident presents to a hospital and how to use those unique considerations in the development of a response plan.

Vulnerable Patient Outreach in Emergencies, Optimizing Resources (Miscellaneous)
Tony Barker, MS, Emergency Program Manager, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Northern CA, South Pacific VISN 21, Victoria Turner, Executive Assistant to the Deputy Network Director, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, and Peter Brewster, Director, Education, Training and Exercises, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

The growing population of older adults in the United States with complex medical conditions are typically the most severely impacted by large-scale weather and climate disasters. A health care systems’ ability to leverage technology and optimize limited resources during an emergency is universal. Join us to learn how the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) established the Vulnerable Patient Care, Access, and Response in Emergencies (VP CARE) Program to provide standardized data tools and guidance to assist medical facilities with conducting outreach and care coordination to vulnerable Veteran populations during major emergencies.

1:45 – 2:00 p.m. | Pass Through

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. | General Session — It Takes a Village: How to Coordinate Large Scale Disaster Drills
Kathryn Ann Crow-Dollarhide, RN, BSN, CEM, CEM(r), Director Disaster Resource Center, Dignity Health St. Mary Medical Center

It takes partnership and cooperation to coordinate effective large-scale drills. Do you know your community partners and how do you get your village together to run drills that matter? Hear how one community trauma center built their disaster world in a place that has its own airport, fire department, police, and an island. Let’s make drills make a difference.

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. | Exhibit Viewing and Best Practices Poster Showcase

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. | General Session — When Violence is an Everyday Occurrence for Hospital Staff
Hector Alvarez, MSPsy, CTM, President, Alvarez Associates LLC

Health care workers are particularly at risk of experiencing workplace violence. The range of potential violence is broad and can include simple acts of aggression to significant acts of physical violence. As organizations work to better understand the dynamics of workplace violence, additional attention needs to be paid to the effect acts of workplace violence have on our employees and organizations.  

4:30 – 5:45 p.m. | Reception, Exhibitor Viewing and Best Practices Poster Showcase
Mingle with colleagues, enjoy hors d’oeuvres, and learn about useful products and services that can help you with disaster planning and response.

Note: Livestreaming includes all keynote and general sessions plus select breakout sessions being held in the general session room.

Wednesday, October 4

7:00 – 8:00 a.m. | Continental Breakfast, Exhibit Viewing and Best Practices Poster Showcase

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. | Keynote Session – The Joint Commission’s Emergency Management Update
James Kendig, MS, CHSP, HEM, Field Director, Surveyor Management and Development Accreditation and Certification Operations and Angela Murray, MSN, RN, Project Director, Healthcare Standards Development Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation, The Joint Commission

There are nearly 400 Joint Commission-accredited hospitals/critical access hospitals in California.  This presentation will provide information about:

  • Preparing for The Joint Commission’s Emergency Management session.
  • Interpreting emergency management scoring data which can be used to identify gaps within your organization.
  • Understanding the SAFER® Matrix to help your organization efficiently drive data decisions and prioritize future improvement efforts. 

The presentation will also cover topics gleaned from direct survey interaction with Joint Commission-accredited hospitals, such as preparing and drilling for evacuation, cybersecurity, and workplace violence.

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. | FEMA’s Public Assistance Grant Program: A Success Story
Charles Gibson, Internal Audit Manager and Ryan Sigel, Risk & Insurance Consultant, Sutter Health

This presentation will provide conference participants with a brief overview of the reimbursement process for FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. Sutter Health’s interactive presentation will share unique experiences and present a general framework used should your facility be eligible to submit a disaster claim (e.g., fire, flood, earthquake, COVID-19, etc.) to FEMA’s Public Assistance Grant program.

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. | Exhibitor Viewing and Raffle

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. | Concurrent Breakout Sessions (choose one)

Pediatric Disaster Management Programs: Lessons Learned and Tools Shared (Pediatric)
Chris Newton, MD, Professor, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland; Milissa Chanice, Operations Director, WRAPEMJames Marcin, MD, MPH, FAAP, FATA, Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Pediatrics, UC Davis School of Medicineand Merritt D. Schreiber, PhD, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Lundquist Institute, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Join this panel of pediatric disaster subject matter experts from the WRAPEM organization covering multiple aspects of pediatric care issues. The events of the 2022 pediatric respiratory viral surge and the lessons learned from that event will be covered, including template guidelines for pediatric contingency care standards. Experts will lead the discussion to the clear need for enhanced telemedicine and pediatric mental health services in our health care system, each to be discussed separately.

Virtual Reality for Emergency Management Training (Disaster Planning 101)
Suzy Fitzgerald, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, Regional EM Training Director, Kaiser Permanente Northern California

The Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid require health care entities maintain “all-hazard” emergency preparedness and response capability and capacity. Leveraging virtual reality (VR) as a training modality for emergency management training holds great promise as an effective, realistic, immersive, and scalable healthcare training strategy. This session will discuss adult learning theory, emergency management training challenges and strategies, and how the use of VR for emergency management training provides an effective, efficient, realistic, and scalable alternative to traditional training methods.

Cyberattack Exercise: A Drill Like No Other (Cybersecurity – Livestream)
Steve Shrubb, RN, Emergency Management Coordinator and Danny Asaoka, Executive Director IT, Long Beach Medical Center

This presentation shares lessons learned from development, logistical challenges, and exercise facilitation for a multi-hospital, corporate-wide drill. It will highlight improvement planning activities from our After-Action Report (AAR). Also, this presentation will tie in our follow-up exercise (June 2023) and share challenges and insights from this event. Attendees will learn what we discovered regarding cybersecurity, as well as exercise planning for a not so typical exercise.

How Coalitions can Safeguard Patients in Power Outages (Miscellaneous)
Christopher Sandoval, RN, MICN, Disaster Program Manager, Los Angeles County EMS Agency and Eric Cote, Project Director, Powered for Patients

California Initiated Public Safety Power Shutoffs to minimize the risk of wildfires triggered by power lines, forcing hospitals to rely on emergency power. Learn how hospital generator failures led the LA County Healthcare Coalition to launch an initiative to identify emergency power vulnerabilities and develop innovative solutions to close gaps. It culminated with the publication of the Healthcare Facility Emergency Power Resilience Playbook. Attendees will learn to use the Playbook to bolster hospital emergency power resilience in their jurisdictions.

11:30 – 11:45 a.m. | Pass Through

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Concurrent Breakout Sessions (choose one)

Strategies for Managing the Pediatric Winter Viral Surge (Pediatric)
Christopher Riccardi, CHEP, CHSP, Manager, Emergency Management and Calvin Fakkema, Director of Support Services, Children’s Hospital of Orange County

Presenters will discuss strategies for managing the pediatric winter viral surge, including implementing surge plans and decompression measures, to optimize patient flow. This presentation will also address best practices and lessons learned with the goal of equipping hospitals to be prepared to meet the inevitable pediatric winter viral surge.

Move It or Lose It: Rapid Disposition & Emergency Department Flow in Mass Casualty (Disaster Planning 101 – Livestream)
Laura Jackson, MS EMT, Senior Manager, and M. Meredith Masters, MD, Medical Director OEM, Stanford Health Center

Overcrowding makes Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) planning increasingly difficult for Emergency Departments. MCI plans must incorporate tactics for rapidly and safely clearing space in EDs to accommodate the influx of casualties. The goal of this planning is to provide the greatest good for the greatest number of patients, both at the hospital before the disaster and for new casualties being received. Stanford experts will review how this planning is designed and how it has been refined with years of practice at their facility.

Health Care Cybersecurity Preparedness and Response for the Enterprise and Industry (Cybersecurity)
Greg Garcia, Executive Director, Health Sector Coordinating Council Cybersecurity Working Groupand Lisa Bisterfeldt, Program Manager, Cyber Security, St. Luke’s Health System

Cyberattacks against the health sector are proliferating, causing loss of data, connectivity, operations, reputation, money, and ultimately, patient safety. Attendees will learn about the Health Sector Coordinating Council and the many free best practice and guidance publications the Council has created for scalable cybersecurity preparedness and response programs. Attendees will learn some best practices offered by leading health care enterprises for responding to incidents as they happen, and recovering from disruptions and maintaining business continuity. Additionally, attendees will be briefed on the importance of collective situational awareness and mutual support in cybersecurity, and how they can get involved in this national health care cybersecurity effort.

Being a READY Rural (Miscellaneous)
Valerie Lakey, Chief Public Relations Officer, Mayers Memorial Health Care District

Rural communities face many challenges and resource limitations. When an emergency situation arises, it is not the time to scramble to find the lacking resources. Ideally resource needs have been identified and MOUs are put in place, ready to access if needed. Rural hospitals are a hub of the community and can lead the way in emergency preparedness collaboration and organization by establishing relationships, contacts and MOUs with business, schools, and community organizations. 

12:45 – 1:45 p.m. | Hosted Luncheon

1:45 – 2:45 p.m. | Leading Cost-Effective Disaster Exercises at a Health Care Facility
Kendall Jones, MBA-HM, MDiv, HEM  Director of Environmental Health & Safety, Riverside Community Hospital

Executive support for disaster exercises can sometimes be difficult due to competing priorities and lack of available financial resources. In this presentation, participants will learn how to lead cost efficient disaster exercises and incident responses within thematic approaches within the following scenarios: mass decontamination, active shooter, bomb threat and labor action scenarios, and will receive ready-made templates for exercise development.

2:45 – 3:45 p.m. | Active Shooter Training: Exercise Coordination with Law Enforcement and Fire Department Response
Jennifer Waldron, MBA-HCM, BSN, RN, Disaster Program Manager, and Darren Morgan, Director-Security/Disaster Services at Huntington Hospital

This presentation will share how Huntington Hospital, along with law enforcement and fire department partners, quickly and effectively planned not one, but four active shooter training exercises within our facility in just 4 months. Our education department filmed the sessions and interviewed staff to create a training video for those unable to attend, which will be shown during the presentation. We will share lessons learned and highlight how hospital leadership and our planning team worked together to ensure this training was successful for our employees while minimizing impact on hospital operations.

3:45 p.m. | Closing Comments
Mary Massey, Vice President Emergency Management, California Hospital Association

Congratulations to the Best Practices Poster Showcase Winners!


Mary Massey, BSN, MA, CHEP, PHN, Vice President, Emergency Management, California Hospital Association

Committee Members

Tony Barker, MSHS, Area Emergency Manager, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Office of Emergency Management

Ryan Burgess, RN, MSN, Hospital Preparedness Coordinator, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

Susan M. Fitzgerald, MD, Emergency Management Physician Lead, Santa Rosa Medical Center

Lois Husted, RN, Emergency Preparedness Officer, Queen of the Valley Medical Center

Connie Lackey, RN, Director, Emergency Preparedness, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center

Valerie Lakey, Director, Public Relations/PIO/Safety Disaster Co-Coordinator, Mayers Memorial Hospital District

Shannon McDougal, Executive Director, City of Hope

Stephanie Meeks, Emergency Management & Regulatory Compliance Manager, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital

Mark Shirley, MS, CSP, CHMM, Director, Integrated Resiliency Management, Office of General Counsel, Sutter Health

Steve Storbakken, Director, Emergency Preparedness & Environmental Safety, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center

Ryan Tuchmayer, Associate Director, Disaster Preparedness & Response, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

We would like to thank our corporate sponsors for their support of the 2023 Disaster Planning Conference.

Platinum Sponsor:

Gold Sponsors:

Silver Sponsors:

Exhibitors to Date:

  • 3M
  • All Over Communications
  • ATI Restoration, LLC
  • BELFOR Property Restoration
  • California Poison Control
  • CDPH Office of the State Environmental Health Director Center for Environmental Health
  • Cyalume Technologies
  • DLX Deployed Logix
  • EMSA
  • Ethos Evacuation Strategies, LLC
  • Everbridge
  • Five Star Bank
  • GCC – Guest Communications Corporation
  • Grand Canyon University
  • ILC Dover
  • Image Sales
  • Industrial Emergency Council (IEC)
  • Juvare
  • Kinemetrics, Inc.
  • Meals For All
  • ORAU
  • Parker, Smith & Feek
  • PG&E
  • PrepICS
  • ProPac, Inc.
  • ReddiNet
  • RRS Patient Decontamination
  • Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services
  • Sutter Paws-On-Call
  • Veoci
  • VeriCor, LLC
  • Volanti Displays
  • Western Shelter

What time zone is the event in? All times listed in the event are Pacific Time. On the sessions tab you can switch time zones to your device time instead of event time.

Event Access

Why did I get logged out? For privacy reasons, your login only stays valid for 24 hours. You will need to request a new verification code if 24 hours has passed or you have logged out. 

Can I share links to the Attendee Hub & App? Yes, please feel free to share links, but in order for the recipient to access the event, they must first be registered. 


Can I create a schedule?
To create your personal agenda, log into the Attendee Hub and view the list of sessions from the ‘All Sessions’ tab. When you see the ones you’d like to attend, click the blue ‘Add Session’ button. View your schedule from the calendar icon. Pro Tip! Watch for helpful links to appear in the right hand corner of your screen just prior to the session start time.

Don’t want to make a schedule in the Hub but still want helpful reminders? Select, ‘Add to Calendar’ from within each session description or within the session detail page in the Attendee Hub to add it to your personal calendar.

Do sessions have a capacity? There is no session capacity for virtual sessions.

Are there CE credit available at this event? Yes! Please visit the ‘CEs’ tab on the conference webpage for complete details.

Recordings & Presentations

I want to watch a session again or watch a session I missed. When will sessions be available on-demand? Please allow one week after the conference concludes for the video to be processed and transcoded for on-demand playback.  On-demand sessions will be accessible for up to 30 days following the event.

Will you have downloadable presentations? PDF versions of each presentation are available within the sessions on the Attendee Hub (virtual attendees) and Mobile App (in-person attendees).

Virtual Attendees

How do I ensure the best video experience? Just like any live stream, there are things you can do to ensure the best viewing experience:

  • Make sure you have a strong internet connection
  • Use Chrome or Firefox as your browser
  • It also helps to close non-essential tabs in your browser.

If you do experience buffering or your video freezes, reload the session page before contacting CHA Education.

How do I join a session? Sessions will open 5 minutes prior to their start time. The ‘Join Session’ button will become readily available at that time.

When I leave the session room, I can no longer hear the speaker. Your session experience is designed to be immersive. Just like an in-person session, if you leave the room you can’t hear the speaker!  If you navigate to another event page, your session will stop. Simply click back into the session to return to the live stream.

For additional assistance contact CHA’s Education Department at education@calhospital.org.