ARC 2017



Tuesday, November 28
7:00 AM-1:00 PM Registration
7:00-8:30 AM Continental Breakfast
8:30-8:45 AM Welcome & Opening Remarks
Aram Dobalian, Director, VEMEC
8:45-9:30 AM Addressing preparedness efforts for the home bound
Health agencies working with homebound patients play a vital role in bolstering a community’s resiliency by improving the preparedness of this vulnerable population. Nevertheless, this role is one for which agencies lack training and resources, leaving many who are homebound at heightened risk of morbidity and mortality during emergencies and other crises. This session will describe the Home Health Agency/Home-Based Primary Care Disaster Preparedness Toolkit and the Patient Assessment Tool, which help support programs as they fulfill their Joint Commission and CMS preparedness requirements.

Tamar Wyte-Lake, Clinical Investigator, VEMEC
Barbara Citarella, President, RBC Limited Healthcare and Management Consultants
9:30-10:15 AM Strengthening the Safety Net for People Experiencing Homelessness: The Homeless Toolkit
People experiencing homelessness face risks for adverse health outcomes during disasters. This session highlights a newly released federal interagency homeless toolkit offering resources and guidance to help emergency officials, homeless service providers, and health care providers plan for the disaster needs of homeless individuals in their communities. Panelists will discuss specific approaches for building an inclusive community emergency management system, ensuring that homeless providers have plans for service continuity, and planning in advance to provide disaster health care.

June Gin, Investigator, VEMEC
David Canavan, HUD/SNAPS Lead Consultant, Canavan Associates
Cheryl Levine, At-Risk Individuals Team Lead, US Department of Health & Human Services
10:15-10:30 AM Morning Networking Break & Poster Session
10:30-11:15 AM Oregon Case Study
In January 2017, the Portland Metro area suffered a major snowstorm, an unusual occurrence for the city. The storm, carrying the heaviest snowfall for the city since 2008, came on the heels of a major ice storm the weekend before. The combination of the two storms toppled trees, closed schools for almost a week, and cut power to thousands in the Portland Metro Area. There were five deaths as a result of the storm, all homeless individuals, including one infant. Members of the Oregon preparedness community will discuss how the City prepared for and responded to this unexpected natural disaster.

Jonna Papaefthimiou, Planning and Preparedness Manager, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management
Alice Busch, Division Chief of Operations, Multnomah County Emergency Management
11:15-11:45 AM Morning Workgroup Session
The workgroup session will allow attendees to gather in small groups to discuss topics relevant to their particular expertise, centered on the topics presented in the morning panel sessions.
11:45-1:00 PM LUNCH – Keynote Speaker & ARC Innovator of the Year Award
Keynote Speaker - Skip Skivington, Vice President of Healthcare Continuity & Support Services, Kaiser Permanente
ARC Innovator of the Year (Individual Awardee) - Skip Skivington, Vice President of Healthcare Continuity and Support Services, Kaiser Permanente
1:00-1:45 PM Effective Communication Strategies
This panel showcases effective communication strategies using two research studies. The first study will identify practical lessons learned from the VA highlighting communication strategies between VA and its Veteran patients during natural disasters. The VA Preparedness Communication Surveys (VAPCS), the first probability-based survey on communication preferences of Veterans during disasters, identifies the most commonly used communication methods among VA-users. The second study will present the results of community leaders’ engagement in the development of a framework on local knowledge in preparedness related to emergency risk communications across vulnerable groups.

Claudia Der-Martirosian, Associate Director, VEMEC
Elena Savoia, Deputy Director Emergency Preparedness, Research, Evaluation & Practice (EPREP) Program, Harvard TH Chan School Of Public Health
1:45-2:45 PM Collaboration: Three Systems' Perspectives
Healthcare Coalitions whether rural or urban continue to demonstrate value to their membership in planning for and responding to medical and public health emergencies. Whether individual organizational challenges, such as power outage, natural disasters or serving a critical role in the coordination of healthcare support for special event planning, traditional public safety and emergency management have come to count on the resources available through Healthcare Coalitions. This presentation will highlight efforts of three systems; (1) provide an overview of MI Healthcare Coalition framework recognizing statewide planning initiatives while respecting the diversity of Coalition population, geography, membership and resources; (2) profile the experience of Chicago’s Department of Public Health in creating a community response plan to effectively respond to medical surges resulting from suspected clusters of opioid overdoses; and (3) describe a Disaster Collaboration Toolkit that was developed to address the unique challenges to collaborating with non-federal entities identified by VAMC emergency managers.

Susan Schmitz, Senior Project Director, VEMEC
Linda Scott, Director of the Division of Emergency Preparedness and Response, State of Michigan
Nicholas A. Nelson, Project Manager, Hospital Preparedness Program, Chicago Department of Public Health
2:45-3:00 PM Afternoon Networking Break & Poster Session
3:00-3:45 PM San Diego Case Study
Since 2000, San Diego County has suffered three major wildfire incidents, each resulting in thousands of acres of damage, destroyed buildings, and numerous deaths. The most recent 2014 wildfires benefitted from lessons learned in earlier incidents. A key factor in the success of response was having established partnerships and communication strategies with utility companies and first responders throughout the County. This panel offers lessons learned and best practices from emergency managers and healthcare professionals from San Diego County. The panel will offer reflections on service delivery issues healthcare facilities face as a result of a crisis, and give guidance on the development of partnership communication strategies, and prioritizing administrative resources.

Monique Imroth, Emergency Management Director, University Of California—San Diego
Pauline Thomas, EMS Specialist, County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency
3:45-4:15 PM Afternoon Workgroup Session
The workgroup session will allow attendees to gather in small groups to discuss topics relevant to their particular expertise, centered on the topics presented in the afternoon panel sessions.
4:15-4:30 PM Closing Remarks
Tiffany Radcliff, Senior Investigator, VEMEC

Wednesday, November 29*
10:30-11:45 AM Harnessing Technology to Enhance Preparedness
Harnessing technology to enhance preparedness is a continual process of innovation and improvement. This panel showcases a variety of agencies’ novel approaches to include GIS in community preparedness planning, including the VHA-HBPC GIS pilot project, the HHS emPOWER Initiative, and Applecious’ ground sourcing data. Additionally, it will profile both the VA and non-VA PIMS platforms. GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is a mapping technology that allows the user to create and interact with a variety of maps and data sources. As communities work toward improving their local resiliency, GIS mapping provides a technology that allows for enhanced understanding of specific community needs at a granular level. Numerous agencies have invested resources in incorporating GIS mapping into their preparedness planning. The VA’s Performance Improvement Management System (PIMS) is an electronic performance support system to support VHA Comprehensive Emergency Program (CEMP), also currently being developed to support non-VHA healthcare coalitions. Its various capabilities include an exercise builder, which includes an after action review/improvement plan (AAR/IP), allowing emergency managers from the facility level up to the national office design and document exercises or real world events and facilitate thorough evaluation.
Tamar Wyte-Lake, Clinical Investigator, VEMEC
Maria Claver, Senior Investigator, VEMEC
Jacqueline Fickel, Investigator, VHA Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy 
Kristen Finne, Senior Program Analyst, HHS emPOWER Initiative
Yo Yoshido, CEO and Co-Founder, Applecious
Dennis Olson, EMCAP Program Manager & VHA PIMS Manager, VHA Office of Emergency Management
Mary Connelly, Emergency Management Specialist, Oak Ridge Associated Universities
2:00-3:15 PM Promoting Psychological Resilience Along the Disaster Continuum
Trauma can impact all members of society, from professional disaster responders to lay folk in the community. Reactions to trauma are distinctive for every individual. Evidence shows that while some experience lasting psychological impacts, most survivors are able to rebound and return to a similar level of pre-trauma functioning. Strengthening one’s ability to respond to disastrous events can support coping in sequential instances of trauma. Additionally, providing diverse mental health support to those who may be reluctant to engage in traditional health services (particularly U.S. Military Veterans) can facilitate recovery. This panel showcases approaches outside the typical domain of health services that promote the psychological resilience of veterans, disaster responders, and trauma survivors.
Aram Dobalian, Director, VEMEC
Susan Schmitz, Senior Project Director, VEMEC
Elizabeth McMahon, Private Practice
Derrick Kranke, Investigator, VEMEC
Josef Ruzek, National Center for PTSD in Palo Alto Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University m2 Institute, Palo Alto University;
3:45-5:00 PM Crisis Leadership and Management
Panelists will discuss their personal experiences as managers and leaders during multiple disasters and other crises. Based on a review of these disasters, key findings will be discussed, including a discussion of common challenges leaders face during high-pressure situations. Tools and other resources that help leaders and managers be successful during crises will also be presented.
Fred Hagigi, Deputy Director for Education Research and Training, VEMEC
Aram Dobalian, Director, VEMEC
Skip Skivington, Vice President of Healthcare Continuity and Support Services, Kaiser Permanente
Thursday, November 30*
10:15-11:30 AM Playing Games: How Immersive Storytelling, Virtual Reality And Simulation Enhance Crisis Response Efforts
In today’s global communications media, phrases featuring 132 characters’ reign supreme, and videos no longer than 60 seconds garner millions of views. With our short attention span, and aversion to details, no digital platform, traditional channel or emerging media vehicle can survive without compelling content that immediately grabs the viewer’s interest. Producing captivating narratives, stories, and experiences are key to driving engagement in a digital ecosystem. VA and USC will discuss how they use digital storytelling, virtual reality, and simulations to create compelling products for an array of military and government research- based customers. The primary topic of discussion will be developing content for computer simulations and virtual reality to support disaster response activities.

Mangwi Atia, United States Department of Veterans Affairs
David Cobbins, Director and Writer, University of Southern California
Arthur French, Consultant, VEMEC
Natalie Gravier, Technical Artist, University of Southern California
1:00-2:15 PM Rapid Disaster Assessment Tools to Enhance Health Security
Panelists will present evidence-based, practitioner-driven tools for rapidly assessing the readiness of healthcare facilities both domestically and internationally. Rapid assessment is an intensive, team-based approach for quickly developing an understanding of a situation, and can be applied in both resource poor and resource rich settings. The presentations will emphasize key factors that can be efficiently and effectively leveraged to enhance mitigation and preparedness across a range of ambulatory and inpatient care settings. Panelists will also discuss how these tools can be used to change organizational behavior and build a culture that promotes greater preparedness from the C-suite to frontline staff.

Fred Hagigi, Deputy Director for Education Research and Training, VEMEC
Aram Dobalian, Director, VEMEC
James Geiling, Physician, White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Sherline H. Lee, Epidemiologist, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

*In addition to the workshop on November 28, this year’s ARC Conference will hold ARC-themed panel sessions throughout the 5 breakout sessions of National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Conference.