CHA News Article

Disaster Planning Conference Agenda Announced
September 19-21, 2011 — Sacramento, CA

The agenda for this year’s Disaster Planning for California Hospitals Conference, Sept. 19-21 in Sacramento, is now available at www.calhospital.org/disaster-planning.

The conference is the largest gathering of hospital preparedness staff in the state. The theme, Building Critical Connections, emphasizes bringing people together to learn from industry experts and each other. Many of this year’s sessions are based on events that hospitals have experienced in California and throughout the world.

Kozue Shimabukuro, MD, a pediatric critical-care fellow with the University of California, Los Angeles, will open the conference with her remarkable story about serving on a government pediatric team following the 9.0 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis that ravaged Japan in March. Shimabukuro returned to her native country within days of the disaster, and spent three weeks scouring the area north of Tokyo for survivors and providing medical treatment.

She reported that makeshift hospitals in shelters were in chaos, and doctors worked five-day shifts without sleep. The challenges included a lack of communication, ability to transport patients and medical staff, and access to medicine in doses appropriate for children. Her presentation will focus on how her experience can be applied to California hospitals.

Fifteen different breakout sessions will allow attendees to choose what best meets their individual needs. In addition, hospitals are encouraged to consider participating in the “Best Practices Poster Session,” which will highlight model programs that can be replicated by other hospitals. Limited spots are available and the deadline to apply is June 30. An application and complete information are available on the conference website.

An all-day post-conference workshop, Active Shooter — Steps to Mitigate Harm, is scheduled for Sept. 21. The workshop will help attendees assess their plans and policies, learn about effective models for staff training, and develop training exercises.

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