Conference / Symposium

2023 Disaster Planning Conference

Sacramento Convention Center
October 3, 2023 | 9:00AM - 4:30PM PT
October 4, 2023 | 8:00AM - 3:30PM PT

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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.

8:00 – 8:45 a.m. | Check in, Exhibit Show 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. | Exhibit Show 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 Planning & 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)

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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, CEN, 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 Show 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. | Exhibit Show Reception 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.

7:00 – 8:00 a.m. | Continental Breakfast, Exhibit Show 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. | Break, Raffle and Grand Prize Drawing

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

  1. Pediatric Disaster Management Programs: Lessons Learned and Tools Shared (Pediatric)
    Chris Newton, MD, Professor, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland; Milissa Chanice, Operations Director, WRAPEM; James Marcin, MD, MPH, FAAP, FATA, Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Pediatrics, UC Davis School of Medicine; and 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Health Care Cybersecurity Preparedness and Response for the Enterprise and Industry (Cybersecurity)
    Greg Garcia, Executive Director, Health Sector Coordinating Council Cybersecurity Working Group, and 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.
  4. 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

Jeanette Abundis, RN, MN, NE-BC  
Senior Director, Emergency and Critical Care Services  
PIH Health Whittier Hospital   
Ms. Abundis is responsible for the successful operations of a 65-bed emergency department including a paramedic base station, STEMI and Comprehensive Stroke receiving center(s), a 48-bed Critical Care Intensive Care Center, as well as the Vascular Access team. Ms. Abundis has held various leadership roles including the Executive Director of Emergency, Trauma, Behavioral Health, and Emergency Management.

Hector Alvarez, MSPsy, CTM 
Alvarez Associates LLC 
Mr. Alvarez is a security expert, specializing in workplace violence prevention, and a Certified Threat Manager™. He has built over 25 years of experience from serving as Security Director to working as a city police officer and as a professional consultant. He has developed numerous violence prevention programs and trained tens of thousands of employees and managers in the areas of crisis intervention, violence prevention, domestic terrorism, and emergency management.

Brian Ambrosini 
Manager of Institutional Accounts 
Mr. Ambrosini joined PG&E 11 years ago. He currently leads a team of account managers who support the largest government (local, state, and federal), health care, and education (K12, UC, CSU, and CCD) customers throughout PG&E service territory. Previously, Mr. Ambrosini held positions in energy efficiency and medical devices.

Danny Asaoka
Executive Director, Enterprise Site Services
Long Beach Medical Center
Mr. Asaoka is Executive Director, Enterprise Site Services for the nationally ranked and recognized health system, MemorialCare. He has nearly two decades of health care IT experience in multiple settings, including inpatient, outpatient, and health plan environments. Mr. Asaoka has led the Information Services division at Orange Coast Medical, MemorialCare’s previously operated Community Hospital Long Beach, and now currently leads at Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital Long Beach and Long Beach Medical Center. In 2021, Mr. Asaoka led the organization in a first of its kind cybersecurity functional exercise where an enterprise response to a ransomware attack was held to implement plans, develop policy and procedure around continuity and recovery, and identify gaps in operations for improvement. 

Tony Barker, MS
Emergency Program Manager U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Northern CA, South Pacific VISN 21
Mr. Barker has over 25 years of Safety and Emergency Management experience. He has managed hospital emergency management programs and has supported VA’s national commitment in disaster response as an Emergency Manager. In his current role as the Emergency Programs Manager for the Sierra Pacific Veterans Integrated Service Network, his responsibilities include oversight to seven VA Health Care Systems in California, Nevada, and the Pacific ensuring accreditation, compliance, and continuity of care for our nation’s Veteran patients.

Lisa Bisterfeldt 
Program Manager, Cyber Security 
St. Luke’s Health System 
Ms. Bisterfeldt manages the Cyber Resiliency Program for the St. Luke’s Health System, developing innovative policies and procedures within incident response, business continuity, and disaster recovery. She is an active member of the Health Sector Coordinating Counsel and leads the Cyber Security 405(d) Wave 4 workgroup. Prior to transitioning into the Cyber Security arena, Lisa spent eight years working in emergency management in the health care and government sectors. 

Peter Brewster
Program Manager, Strategic Planning/Quality
Veterans Health Administration Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

Mr. Brewster has served as the Program Manager, Strategic Planning/Quality for the Veterans Health Administration Office of Emergency Management (OEM) from 2013 to present. His responsibilities include strategic and operational planning, Continuity of Operations, First Receivers Decontamination Program, and VP CARE. He currently serves as a Principal on several National Fire Protection Association technical committees and supports The Joint Commission requests for input on their emergency management standard updates.

Kristen Burke 
Strategic Account Manager 
Pacific Gas & Electric Company 
Ms. Burke is the Healthcare Team Strategic Account Manager at Pacific Gas & Electric Company. Since 2017, she has served as a single point of contact/assigned account manager for large health care systems and rural and independent health facilities within the PG&E service territory. She has experience in emergency response supporting hospitals impacted by wildfires, Public Safety Power Shutoffs, and other large outage events.

Milissa Chanice 
Regional Operations Director 
Ms. Chanice is the Regional Operations Director for the Western Regional Alliance for Pediatric Emergency Management (WRAP-EM), an ASPR funded Pediatric Disaster Care Center of Excellence at UCSF. WRAP-EM is tasked with modeling regional preparedness and resilience for approximately 14 million children. In addition, Ms. Chanice supports the leadership and operations of the HRSA funded Pediatric Pandemic Network (PPN). Previously, she dedicated 16 years to Dignity Health supporting level 1 trauma centers and community hospitals in accreditation, compliance, and emergency management capacities.

Eric Cote 
Founder, Project Director 
Powered for Patients 
Mr. Cote developed cutting-edge solutions to address emergency power threats that facilitate increased information sharing and collaboration between government officials, critical healthcare facilities, utilities, and generator service providers. He currently supports the Los Angeles County Healthcare Coalition emergency power resilience initiative as a project consultant.

Terry Crammer 
Chief, Disaster Response and Coordination 
Los Angeles County EMS Agency 
Mr. Crammer oversees the management of Disaster Response and Coordination programs in Los Angeles County after serving as the past 10 years as the Grant Coordinator for the Los Angeles County Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP). He is a certified instructor with the National Association of EMS Educators, a certified Hazardous Materials Specialist, and a CBRNE and decontamination training specialist. 

Kathryn Ann Crow-Dollarhide, RN, BSN, CEN, CEM(r) 
Director Disaster Resource Center 
Dignity Health St. Mary Medical Center 
Ms. Crow-Dollarhide is a Certified Emergency Manager. She is a HAZMAT Instructor and coordinates multiagency disaster drills in Long Beach, California. Ms. Crow-Dollarhide has been the training nurse for the LA FBI Swat Team in advanced airway and active shooter drills, and she runs tabletop exercises for Federal and private agencies on Burn/Trauma Surge/MCI and HAZMAT. She works with the California Border Protection and has been instrumental in coordinating drills with Long Beach Fire Department and Long Beach Police Department in large scale community drills.

Calvin Fakkema, CHSP, CHEP 
Director of Support Services 
Children’s Health of Orange County (CHOC)  
As a certified Healthcare Safety Professional and certified Healthcare Emergency Professional, Mr. Fakkema provides leadership to safety, security, workplace violence program, parking, and valet services, emergency management, food services, and environmental services for CHOC. He is the administrator of the Safety Program, Environment of Care Committee, and the Emergency Management Program.

Suzy Fitzgerald, MD, FACEP, FAAEM 
Regional EM Training Director 
Kaiser Permanente Northern California 
Dr. Suzy Fitzgerald is the Permanente Medical Group (TPMG) Emergency Management Training Director, the TPMG NCAL Physician Lead for Simulation for the TPMG Innovative Simulation Solutions Program, and an Emergency Physician with Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. Dr. Fitzgerald’s portfolio includes emergency management training; workflow development and implementation; virtual reality health care and disaster training; interdisciplinary simulation training; and other simulation-based initiatives.  

Greg Garcia 
Executive Director for Cybersecurity 
Health Sector Coordinating Council Cybersecurity Working Group 
Mr. Garcia was the nation’s first DHS Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications where he initiated the creation of the National Cyber and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC). He has served as executive director of the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council, held executive positions with Bank of America, 3Com Corporation, and the Information Technology Association of America. Mr. Garcia helped draft and shepherd the enactment of the Cyber Security Research and Development Act of 2002. 

Charles Gibson 
Manager, Internal Audit 
Sutter Health  
During his career, Mr. Gibson has developed and guided multiple teams to create and implement financial programs, enhance technical applications, and optimize business plans. He currently works with Sutter Health leadership and uses his background in risk assessment and project management covering a broad range of financial, compliance, and operational audit engagements that includes the evaluation of business processes and internal controls to strengthen and improve Sutter Health’s control environment.

Laura Jackson, MS EMT 
Senior Manager 
Stanford Health Center 
Ms. Jackson began her career as an Emergency Medical Technician in Boston in 2007, working in private EMS and as an Emergency Department Technician at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. She managed the Boston Medical Reserve Corps for the City of Boston’s Office of Public Health Preparedness. Ms. Jackson returned to California to work as an Emergency Manager for Stanford Health Care and Stanford Medicine Children’s Health since 2013 and she has been passionate about improving response to Mass Casualty Incidents since.

Natalie Johnson, MS 
Co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer 
ViDL Solutions 
Ms. Johnson is a consultant and performance coach with over 30 years of experience working with employers globally. Ms. Johnson’s work focuses on increasing energy, creating team connections, and developing courageous leaders. She has a background in human performance, specifically performance psychology, exercise physiology, performance nutrition and human resilience.  

Kendall Jones, MBA-HM, HEM, M.Div. 
Director, Environmental Health and Safety 
HCA Healthcare, Riverside Community Hospital 
As the Director of Environmental Health & Safety at Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside, CA, Mr. Jones leads oversight over the Environment of Care and Emergency Management standards of The Joint Commission as the facility’s Safety Officer, Co-Ethics, and Compliance Officer. He has over 15 years of experience in emergency management and has led disaster exercises such as: mass casualty, infectious disease, weapons of mass destruction decontamination, bomb threats, earthquake, evacuation, active shooter, and many other scenarios.

James Kendig, MS, CHSP, HEM 
Field Director, Surveyor Management and Development Accreditation and Certification Operations 
The Joint Commission 
Mr. Kendig oversees half of the surveyor cadre who specialize in surveying The Joint Commission’s life safety, environment of care, and emergency management standards. He maintains certifications as a Certified Healthcare Safety Professional, Certified Hazard Control Manager, Certified Healthcare Environmental Manager, and is a licensed Healthcare Risk Manager.  

Valerie L. Lakey 
Chief Public Relations Officer 
Mayers Memorial Healthcare District 
Ms. Lakey is the Chief Public Relations Officer and Emergency Preparedness Director at Mayers Memorial Hospital District in Fall River Mills, CA. With training in communications. Ms. Lakey has specialized training in health care marketing, emergency management, special districts, and public relations.

Alex Lichtenstein 
Program Manager, Emergency Preparedness & Business Continuity 
UCLA Health 
Mr. Lichtenstein has ten years of experience working on Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) and Hospital Preparedness Programs (HPP) in California and Wisconsin. He is currently the Program Manager for Business Continuity and Emergency Preparedness at UCLA Health, where he leads a team of three Emergency Management Specialists that oversee preparedness and response for a three hospital-based system with several hundred outpatient clinics located throughout Southern California.

James Marcin, MD, MPH, FAAP, FATA 
Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Pediatrics 
UC Davis School of Medicine 
Dr. Marcin has served on several committees, including the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) Telehealth Advisory Committee, the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric Workforce, and the Emergency Medical Services for Children Innovation and Improvement Center Telehealth Advisory Council. In addition to his clinical work in the Pediatric ICU, Dr. Marcin conducts research and advocacy on issues related to access and quality of care, particularly as they relate to telehealth and children with special health care needs and acutely ill and injured children in rural communities.

Martha Meredith Masters, MD 
Marc and Laura Andreessen Medical Director for Disaster Relief, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine 
Stanford University  
Dr. Masters is the medical director of the Office of Emergency Management for Stanford Health Care. Dr. Masters’ research focuses on improving training for hospital disaster preparedness, the relationship between prehospital care and the emergency department, and ethics and health equity in EMS and disaster management. 

Darren Morgan 
Director-Security/Disaster Services 
Huntington Hospital 
With over 30 years of healthcare safety and security leadership, Mr. Morgan has worked in hospitals since 1979. He is a dedicated mentor and collaborative team leader with excellent communication, leadership, organizational, strategic planning, and training skills.

Angela Murray, MSN, RN 
Project Director, Healthcare Standards Development Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation 
The Joint Commission 
Ms. Murray is currently a Project Director in the Department of Standards and Survey Methods within the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation. She also maintains the requirements of the Emergency Management chapter for each accreditation program offered by The Joint Commission. Ms. Murray co-chairs the Emergency Management Committee and is actively involved in other departmental projects. 

Chris Newton, MD 
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland 
Dr. Newton is a Pediatric Trauma Surgeon and has been at Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland since 2012. His passion and leadership is evident in his work for California Pediatric Trauma Systems of Care and Disaster Preparedness. In 2019 he established a West Coast Pediatric Disaster Care Center of Excellence followed by the National Pediatric Pandemic Network. These programs have grown considerably in recent years, all focused on developing a more resilient pediatric health care system.

Regional Disaster Medical Health Specialists  
Regional Disaster Medical Health Specialists (RDMHS) directly support local emergency medical service agencies with disaster preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery activities. Representatives from RDMHS Regions 1 through 6 will be present at the conference and will participate in this panel discussion.

Christopher Riccardi, CHSP, CHEP,  
Manager of Emergency Management and Business Continuity 
Children’s Health of Orange County (CHOC) 
As the Manager of Emergency Management and Business Continuity for CHOC, Mr. Riccardi’s responsibilities include the development, implementation, and management of Emergency Management planning and exercises and of the enterprise-wide Business Continuity Program.  He was the visionary behind the 15 ‘til 50 project, a nationally recognized best practice in health care mass casualty incident response planning. Mr. Riccardi is a certified health care safety and emergency management professional.

Christopher Sandoval, RN, MICN 
Disaster Program Manager 
Los Angeles County EMS Agency 
The EMS Agency is the coordinating arm for the Los Angeles County Healthcare Coalition, and Mr. Sandoval supports coalition work on multiple fronts. He is the lead project manager for the multi-phase emergency power preparedness initiative. His other responsibilities include supporting disaster preparedness for hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and dialysis programs.  

Merritt D. Schreiber, PhD 
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics 
Department of Pediatrics 
Lundquist Institute, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center 
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA 
Dr. Merritt Schreiber is Senior Advisor to the Terrorism and Disaster Program at the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress. He serves as the Lead for the Mental Health Workgroup for the Western Regional Alliance for Pediatric Emergency Management (WRAP-EM), Co-Lead of the Mental Health Domain of the HRSA Pediatric Pandemic Network, and is the Chair of Disaster Response for the California Psychological Association.

Steve Shrubb, RN 
Emergency Management Coordinator  
Long Beach Medical Center 
With over 20 years of experience in emergency management, Mr. Shrubb currently works as the Emergency Management Officer and Disaster Resource Center Coordinator at Long Beach Medical Center. Previously, he served 24 years with the U.S. Army Reserve where he was a senior enlisted leader. Steve is on the instructional staff of the Los Angeles County EMS Agency, Hospital Disaster Management Training, and is an active member of City of Long Beach Department of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications Community Partners Committee. 

Ryan Sigel 
Risk & Insurance Consultant 
Sutter Health  
Mr. Sigel has been a part of the Sutter Health Risk & Insurance Operations team since 2015, helping to guide the organization through complex insurance policy renewals and difficult claims.  With 15 years of experience in the insurance industry as a broker, claims adjuster, regulator, and risk manager, Ryan draws from a broad depth of knowledge and first-hand involvement to enhance organizational resiliency and improve claim outcomes.

Tom Smith
Senior Manager, Customer Emergency Planning & Operations
Pacific Gas & Electric Company Mr. Smith leads the Customer Emergency Planning Team at Pacific Gas & Electric Company as well as the team supporting notification strategy and customer resiliency. He has been with the company for 21 years, and has worked previously on the EPSS program, Wildfire Safety, Vegetation Management, and managing City/County relationships. Mr. Smith also serves as a Customer Strategy Officer in the EOC, managing customer experience during emergency events.

Carole Snyder, MS, BSN, RN   
Director of Emergency Preparedness  
PIH Health  
In her role, Ms. Snyder oversees the disaster policies, staff education, development, and execution of community wide drills. She is an experienced registered nurse and an established leader and educator in emergency nursing, emergency preparedness, decontamination, operations planning, project management, licensing and regulatory preparedness, health care policy, and activation planning services. 

Victoria Turner
Executive Assistant to the Deputy Network Director
U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Ms. Turner began service as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Network Director for the VA Heart of Texas Network (VISN 17) in May of 2022. She began a VA career in 2019 when she was hired to work full-time in the Dallas VA Medical Center Laboratory as a nightshift Medical Technologist. Ms. Turner held this position for two years before being accepted into the VA Graduate Healthcare Administrative Training Program (GHATP) for the 2021-2022 class. After completing the GHATP year, Ms. Turner was hired by VISN 17 into her current position.

Jennifer Waldron, MBA-HCM, BSN, RN 
Disaster Program Manager 
Huntington Hospital 
Jennifer Waldron has been with Huntington Hospital for over 35 years.  Ms. Waldron began her career as an emergency department RN, helping patients and families during moments of unexpected crisis. For the last 11 years she has used her clinical expertise in the role of Disaster Program Manager/Business Continuity Planner, helping hospital employees from all disciplines understand the importance of planning for and responding to emergency events.

Full Conference
*Members: $550
Associate Members and Government Entities: $550
**Nonmembers: $750

Livestream Conference
*Members: $275
Associate Members and Government Entities: $275
**Nonmembers: $375
Note: Livestreaming includes all keynote and general sessions plus select breakout sessions.

*Members are CHA member hospitals. **Nonmembers are limited to non-hospital health care providers, clinics, post-acute facilities, and consultants, insurance companies, law firms and other entities that serve hospitals. Education programs and publications are a membership benefit and are not available to eligible non-member California hospitals.

Cancellation Policy

A $75 non-refundable processing fee will be retained for each cancellation. Cancellations must be made in writing seven or more days prior to the scheduled event and emailed to No refunds will be given after these dates. Substitutions are encouraged. Cancellation and substitution notification may be emailed to In the unlikely event that the program is cancelled, refunds will be issued to paid registrants within 30 days.

Special Accommodations

If you require special accommodations pursuant to the American’s with Disabilities Act, please call (916) 552-7637.


CHA will photograph this event. If you prefer not to be photographed, please email CHA at

Full participation in the conference is a prerequisite for receiving professional continuing education (CE) credit. Attendee must complete a post-event survey, attest to participation, and, when required, provide a professional license number. CE certificates will be emailed approximately three weeks after the conference. (Amount of CE offered subject to change.)

Compliance — The Compliance Certification Board (CCB)® has approved this event for up to 12.0 CCB CEUs. Continuing Education Units are awarded based on individual attendance records. Granting of prior approval in no way constitutes endorsement by CCB of this event content or of the event sponsor.

Health Care Executives — CHA is authorized to award 11.0 hour of pre-approved ACHE Qualified Education credit for this program toward advancement, or recertification, in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Participants in this program who wish to have the continuing education hours applied toward ACHE Qualified Education credit must self-report their participation. To self-report, participants must login to their MyACHE account and select ACHE Qualified Education Credit.

Nursing — Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider CEP #11924, for up to 11.0 conference contact hours.

Risk Management — This meeting has been approved for a total of 11.0 contact hours of Continuing Education Credit toward fulfillment of the requirements of ASHRM designations of FASHRM (Fellow) and DFASHRM (Distinguished Fellow) and towards CPHRM renewal.

The Hyatt Regency Sacramento is the host hotel for the conference. Located in the heart of downtown Sacramento and across the street from the Convention Center, the Hyatt is close to numerous dining options, shopping and parks. 

Hyatt Regency Sacramento
1209 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(888) 421-1442 (reservations)
(916) 443-1234

The Hyatt Regency Sacramento has rooms available at the discounted rate of $220 for all nights during the conference. For reservations, call (888) 421-1442 and mention the “Disaster Planning for CA Hospitals.” The deadline for discounted sleeping rooms is September 11. To book a room online, click here.

Congratulations to the Best Practices Poster Showcase Winners!

  • Alameda County Emergency Medical Services Agency — Patient Movement Surge PLAYBOOK: Next Generation Capable
  • ENGEO — Advancement in Seismic Design of Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
  • Meals for All — Checking All the Boxes. Considerations in Disaster Meal Planning
  • Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center — Evolution of 15 to 50 to Code MCI Surge
  • Redlands Community Hospital — Burnout in Healthcare Workers: Reverse the Crisis, Break the Stigma
  • Stanford Health Care — Engaging Offsite Clinical Partners in Hazard Vulnerability Analysis
  • Sutter Medical Center Sacramento — Code Red/Emergency Management
  • Sutter Roseville Medical Center — This is Only a Drill! Using Disaster Drills to Meet the Response to the Evolution of Active Threats
  • The Permanente Medical Group and Kaiser Permanente Northern California — Regional Infectious Disease Alert Strike Team for Ebola Response
  • WRAP-EM — Virtual Tabletop Exercises: A Simultaneous Multiple Approach


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

Showcase your products to hundreds of leading health care decision makers. We are expecting 600+ hospital administrators, emergency preparedness coordinators, disaster planners, risk managers, physicians, nurse executives, emergency department managers, safety and security personnel, and other hospital professionals from throughout the state.

Ways to Participate

Sponsor the conference
Sponsorship opportunities are available and offer additional benefits, including free booth space at the exhibit show, complimentary conference registrations, advertising in conference app, plenty of face time with attendees and much more.

Exhibit at the conference
Showcase your product or service directly to hospitals participating in the exhibit show. With dedicated exhibit viewing time to network, you will not be disappointed!

Beyond the Booth – A La Carte Opportunities
Reserving your exhibit space is just the start of building your experience. By leveraging the beyond the booth opportunities available to you as a sponsor and/or exhibitor, you can increase your visibility and engagement with conference attendees, and maximize the return on your investment.


Requests will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Act quickly — we expect exhibit space to sell out.

Questions? Contact Lisa Hartzell at

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

Platinum Sponsor:

Gold Sponsor:

Silver Sponsor:

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