Education event

Disaster Planning for California Hospitals
Powering readiness through partnerships

Register Now
September 18 – 20, 2017
Sacramento, CA


In a disaster, no one should have to go it alone. From planning to execution, working together with other hospitals, health care providers, community partners and government agencies can only strengthen a disaster response and ensure a smoother recovery. And with every new partnership formed, we become more resilient than ever.

Build the partnerships that will power your readiness. Plan now to join us for the largest gathering of hospital emergency preparedness coordinators in California. The agenda will be announced soon.

Conference highlights include:

  • 2017 Oroville Dam evacuation
  • Leadership insight on disaster preparedness
  • New tools to enhance your Hazard Vulnerability Analysis
  • Health care coalitions — the benefits of working together
  • Optimizing electronic health records for emergency management and response
  • Pediatric emergency transport in disasters
  • Planning for a water outage
  • Integrating the needs of individuals with access and functional needs into emergency planning
  • Disaster recovery funding essentials
  • Rural challenges in disaster management
  • 2017 Statewide Medical and Health Exercise
  • Best Practices Poster Showcase
  • Exhibit show featuring more than 50 vendors
  • Learning from your peers, experts and more!

Best Practices Posters

CHA is accepting best practices posters for the conference. The conference offers a unique opportunity for your organization to showcase and share its emergency preparedness knowledge and expertise with a cross-section of peers. Submissions must be received by June 30, 2017. For additional information and to submit, please click on the “Best Practices Posters” tab.

Conference Meeting Locations

The conference and exhibit show will be held at the Sacramento Convention Center, located just across the street from the Hyatt Regency Sacramento, the host hotel. The pre-conference workshop on Monday, Sept. 18, will be held at the Hyatt Regency.

Pre-Conference Workshop

Monday, September 18

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Emergency Management Requirements — A Roadmap for Successful Compliance

Beginning Nov. 15, health care providers must comply with an entirely new set of standards for emergency preparedness — the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Emergency Preparedness Conditions of Participation. These new requirements affect all 17 provider and supplier types eligible for participation in Medicare. How can hospitals navigate compliance with these new conditions, while continuing to satisfy existing requirements?

This workshop will help make compliance more manageable by identifying opportunities to fulfill the requirements of multiple agencies at once. Representatives from CMS, The Joint Commission and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response will define their requisites of health care providers. 

Tuesday Agenda

Tuesday, September 19

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. | Registration, Continental Breakfast, Exhibits and Best Practices Poster Showcase

8:30 – 10:00 a.m. | Opening Keynote

Leadership Insight on Disaster Preparedness
Michael Anderson, MD, MBA, FAAP, President, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, and Senior Vice President, Children’s Services, UCSF Health
As a physician, hospital CEO and nationally regarded authority in pediatric disaster preparedness, Dr. Michael Anderson will discuss the current state of readiness. Learn about the progress made to date and opportunities to advance preparedness for vulnerable populations such as pediatrics and neonates. Strategies for engaging leadership and physicians in preparedness efforts will also be presented.

10:00 – 10:45 a.m. | Exhibit Show and Best Practices Poster Showcase

10:45 a.m. – Noon | General Session (to be announced)

Noon – 1:15 p.m. | Hosted Lunch

1:20 – 2:20 p.m. | Concurrent Breakout Sessions (choose one)

HVA 2.0: Using Past Incidents to Drive Future Planning and Meet New Requirements
Philip Lo, Emergency Management Consultant; and Mitch Saruwatari, Director, Emergency Management, Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente has developed a new tool that uses automated calculations to align risks identified in a Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA) with actual incidents in real-time. Learn how this tool works and how it can improve community risk assessment, identify where to focus limited emergency management resources and assist all provider types in meeting new CMS Emergency Preparedness requirements.

Rural Challenges in Disaster Management
Valerie Lakey, Director, Public Relations & PIO/Safety Disaster
Co-Coordinator, Mayers Memorial Hospital District

Emergency management plans are not one-size-fits-all, which is especially true for rural hospitals. This interactive session will explore challenges rural facilities face in disaster planning, methods of collaboration, resource sharing and effective communication during a disaster.

Health Care Coalitions: The Benefits of Working Together
Sharon Carlson, RN, Director, Emergency Preparedness, Sharp HealthCare; and Kelly M. Cheffet, CHSP, HEM, TLO, Environmental Health & Safety Manager, Emergency Management, Kaiser Permanente San Diego
A robust health care coalition is a valuable resource for addressing community emergency management needs. This session will share strategies for building and maintaining sustainable and resilient health care coalitions. Presenters will share proven approaches for bolstering relationships and ways to improve your own health care coalition.

2:40 – 3:40 p.m. | Concurrent Breakout Sessions (choose one)

Making the Statewide Medical and Health Exercise Work for You
Mary Massey, BSN, MA, CHEP, PHN, Hospital Preparedness Consultant, CHA Hospital Preparedness Program
Practice makes perfect! Presenter will review the annual exercise and explain how to tailor it to meet regional, local and individual facility needs. Ways to meet the accreditation, regulatory and grant requirements will also be addressed.

Pediatric Emergency Transport in Disasters
Patricia Frost, RN, MS, PNP, Director, Emergency Medical Services, Contra Costa Health Services; Susan Aitkens, Consultant, Patient Movement Plan, Emergency Medical Services Authority; and Kelly Coleman, EMT-P, Regional Disaster Medical Health Specialist, Region II, Alameda Emergency Medical Services
Are your local and regional emergency medical transportation assets ready to accommodate pediatric patients? This session will describe current capabilities and gaps, as well as lessons learned from previous disaster evacuations. Learn how to plan for and respond to pediatric mass transportation issues.

Leveraging Internal Partnerships and Resources for Cybersecurity
Kristina Freas, MS, RN, EMT-P, CEM, Emergency Management Professional/CEO, Freas Emergency Management Group
Cyberattacks such as phishing, ransomware and corruption of medical devices are a growing threat to hospitals. To minimize risk, IT security and emergency management teams must work together. Learn strategies to overcome cultural differences and create efficiencies between these disciplines. Presenters will also highlight resources from the Department of Homeland Security for protecting critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.

Using Technology to Improve Exercises — Infusing the Old with the New
Jordan Cathey, Emergency Exercises and Training Manager, UCSF Medical Center, and Grady Murphy, Program Manager, Emergency Management & Business Continuity, UCLA Health
Incorporating social media and emergency notification systems into trainings and exercises can improve design, facilitation and participant experience. See a live demonstration of how two organizations use Twitter, Everbridge and Hootsuite to streamline their training exercises. Presenters will describe pitfalls to avoid, as well as lessons learned.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m. | Concurrent Breakout Sessions (choose one)

Emergency Department Decompression During Mass Casualty Incidents
Stacey Gustafson, MBCP, PMP, PMI-ACP, Emergency Preparedness Program Coordinator, Environmental Health & Safety; and Joleen Lonigan, Executive Director, Patient Care Services, UC Davis Medical Center
On any given day, how crowded is your ED? Adding a mass casualty response to an already overcrowded emergency department presents major challenges. This presentation will describe a rapid inpatient admission process for decompressing the ED during a mass casualty incident. Learn about the systems, strategies and resources used to manage patient identification and movement, both physically and electronically, from the ED to the hospital and how the ED, inpatient administration and hospitalists work together to support this effort.

Optimizing EHR for Emergency Management and Response
Adam Landsdorf, MD, KP-NCAL Emergency Management Peer Group
Co-Chair, and Kristina Spurgeon, Practice Specialist, Emergency Management and NCAL Regional Emergency Management Committee
Co-Chair, Kaiser Permanente Northern California; and Eric Dilda, MD, Medical/Legal Risk Director, Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect Northern California

Electronic health records are key to maintaining safe patient care during disasters. Hear how one system developed disaster tools within its EPIC-based EHR system to manage a response, as well as an EHR disaster training environment to maximize learning.

Improving Emergency Communications Through the Use of Plain Language
Caryn Thornburg, LVN, BAIS, MS, Safety, Emergency Management and Sustainability Officer, Stanford Health Care — ValleyCare (moderator); Mark Shirley, MS, CSP, CHMM, Environmental Risk Consultant, Sutter Health Risk Services; Brandon Bond, MS, CBCP, EMT-B, Administrative Director, Office of Emergency Management, Stanford Health Care/Stanford Children’s Health; and Sharon Carlson, RN, Director, Emergency Preparedness, Sharp HealthCare
In emergencies, it is imperative that communications are clear and staff know how to respond appropriately. Hear from three organizations about their journey to using plain language, including why they chose to adopt it and challenges they had to overcome. Tools you can use to enhance your facility’s emergency communications will be provided.

New HPP Coalition Surge Test — Lessons Learned from One County’s Exercise
Kevin Rose, Emergency Preparedness Specialist/Deputy MHOAC, San Mateo County EMS Agency; and Jerry Glotzer, MS, CHEC, Regional Director, Environmental Health & Safety/Emergency Preparedness, Palo Alto Medical Foundation & Sutter Healthcare, Mills-Peninsula Medical Center
Health care coalitions and participating hospitals are now required to conduct the Coalition Surge Test (CST) for the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) grant cycle of 2017–2022. The CST is a low- to no-notice, two-phased table top/facilitated exercise that tests a hospital’s ability to evacuate and the coalition’s ability to assist in locating beds and transportation resources. Learn more about the CST and how San Mateo County conducted its own exercise in the Spring of 2017.

5:00 – 6:00 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 preparedness and response.

Wednesday Agenda

Wednesday, September 20

7:45 – 8:45 a.m. | Exhibit Show, Best Practices Poster Showcase and Continental Breakfast

8:45 – 10:15 a.m. | General Session

2017 Oroville Dam Crisis: A Tale of A High-Stakes Evacuation and Response
Steve Stark, Chief Executive Officer, Orchard Hospital; Kevin Brown, MD, Hospitalist, and Stacey Vincent, RN, CEN, MICN, Nurse Manager, Emergency Department, Enloe Medical Center; and Kory Honea, Sheriff-Coroner, Butte County
In February, a combination of record rainfall, two damaged spillways and erosion at Oroville Dam spurred the call for the immediate evacuation of nearly 180,000 people. The impact on residents and responders was enormous and significant coordination was required to manage the fallout. Hear firsthand accounts of the call to evacuate, as well as the evacuation and transfer of patients between two hospitals.

10:15 – 10:45 a.m. | Exhibit Show and Grand Prize Drawing

11:00 a.m. – Noon | Concurrent Breakout Sessions (choose one)

After Action Reporting and Improvement Plans Made Simple
Mary Massey, Hospital Preparedness Consultant, California Hospital Association Hospital Preparedness Program
Tired of looking at the pile of evaluations, hot wash materials and player’s comments on your desk while waiting to write your After Action Report? This course shows you how to quickly and easily complete your After Action Report and Improvement Plan, and hone your disaster preparedness capabilities while meeting new regulatory requirements.

Integrating the Needs of Individuals with Disabilities, and Access and Functional Needs into Hospital Emergency Planning
Steve Storbakken, Director, Emergency Preparedness & Environmental Safety, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center; L. Vance Taylor, Chief, AFN Division, California Office of Emergency Services; and Kevin Muszynski, Manager, Support Services, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center
Approximately 20 percent of Californians have a registered disability, and at least another 20 percent have an Access and Functional Need (AFN). This population has an incredibly diverse and unique set of needs — particularly so in a disaster. Panelists will offer techniques and resources for integrating AFNs into your plans, including a sample AFN Liaison Officer Job Action Sheet for use in HICS. Participants will be provided with a comprehensive, adaptable tool for assessing risk to the AFN community, and identifying the hospital’s current capability to respond.

Securing the Paper Trail — Disaster Recovery Funding Essentials
Margaret Larson, Manager, and Jill Powell, Senior Manager, Ernst & Young
Obtaining disaster recovery funds isn’t easy and often requires a significant amount of recordkeeping, time and supporting information. This session will outline the most stringent cost substantiation requirements for insurance and assistance programs in a health care context, as well as the types of information and documentation needed when submitting claims. A checklist of key items to gather and maintain will be provided.

Tests and Triumphs of a Mandatory Evacuation
Dale White, Emergency Preparedness Plan Manager, Sutter Health Care Home Care
Sutter Care at Home was forced to evacuate during the Oroville Dam crisis, which inevitably affected both staff and patients. Attendees will hear what worked and what didn’t, how staff and patients were accounted for, how patient care continued and lessons learned during their recovery.

Noon – 1:15 p.m. | Hosted Lunch

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. | Concurrent Breakout Sessions (choose one)

Preparing Together: Health Care Coalitions and the New CMS Emergency Preparedness Requirements
Marina Zamarron, Health Planning Specialist III, Santa Clara County Public Health; Richard Filippuzzi, Safety Specialist, Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center; and Steve Weirauch, Environmental, Health & Safety Manager/Emergency Preparedness Coordinator , El Camino Hospital
Coalitions can play a critical role in building health care emergency capabilities — and helping members comply with new requirements. Members of the Santa Clara Valley Emergency Preparedness Healthcare Coalition will share their experience in boosting awareness of the new CMS Emergency Preparedness Rules and creating a framework for a standardized, countywide emergency preparedness program. Learn how a coalition can provide peer support for compliance and create an environment to develop local leadership.

The ABCs of an Emergency Management Program
Loni Howard, RN, MSN, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Sutter Medical Center
Designed for those new to emergency preparedness, this session outlines the fundamental elements of an effective emergency management program. Learn ways to develop your Emergency Operations Plan and prepare for a Joint Commission or CMS survey. Take home resources and tools to shore up your facility’s program.

Business Continuity and Emergency Preparedness to Meet New CMS Requirements
Elena Ceja, Director, Business Continuity Management, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, and Kristina Spurgeon, Practice Specialist, Emergency Management, and NCAL Regional Emergency Management Committee
Co-Chair, Kaiser Permanente Northern California

Many hospitals are impacted by CMS’ business continuity and emergency preparedness requirements. In this session, learn how one system developed a plan to comply with the regulation and how to tailor it for your organization. Take home a sample project plan, timeline and other resources to help achieve compliance.

The Water Will Rise Again!
Jim Tritten, Program Manager, Environment of Care; Chris La Due, CHSP, Program Manager, Environment of Care; and Tom Cinko, Manager, Facilities Engineering, Swedish Medical Center; and Henry Biggs, Project Manager, University Mechanical Contractors, Inc.
An emergent need to replace water risers left Swedish Cherry Hill with less than two weeks to plan for and initiate work on a tower with 152 high-acuity beds. This presentation will detail how the concern was identified, rapid planning among multiple stakeholders, the 40-hour water shutdown, service restoration and the final performance improvement action items. Takeaways include staffing and assignment lists, and department checklists.

2:45 – 4:00 p.m. | Closing Keynote (to be announced)

Best Practices Posters

The Best Practices Poster Showcase is a way for members to share innovative ideas and model programs that can be replicated by other hospitals. Poster displays will be showcased in the exhibit hall along with more than 50 sponsor/exhibitor booths. Hospital representatives should be available during exhibit and poster viewing sessions to discuss their best practices with attendees. Submissions must be received by June 30, 2017.

Click here to submit your best practices poster entry.


Hospitals may use federal Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) grant monies to help cover tuition and travel costs. Check with your HPP grant administrator (either the local health department or Emergency Medical Services agency) for details.


Full conference plus pre-conference workshop (Monday, Tuesday AND Wednesday): Members* $710, Nonmembers** $910

Full conference (Tuesday AND Wednesday):
Members $570, Nonmembers $760

One day only (Monday OR Tuesday OR Wednesday):
Members $310, Nonmembers $420

Registrations received after Aug. 18 are subject to an additional $100 tuition increase.

* Members are CHA member hospitals, CHA associate members and government agencies. ** 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.

Tuition includes continental breakfasts, lunches, education sessions, exhibit show and reception, and continuing education. Onsite registrations and any unpaid registrations as of the date of the meeting will be charged an additional 10% fee.


A confirmation will be emailed to all registrants.

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 faxed to (916) 552-7506. 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.

Photo Release

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

Special Accommodations

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


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

Single and double rooms are available at the discounted rate of $185 per night. Make your reservation online or call (888) 421-1442 and mention the “CHA Disaster Planning Conference.” Don’t delay — room availability is limited.

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

Sponsor & Exhibit

Be front and center at the only disaster planning conference targeted to California hospitals. Showcase your products to hundreds of leading health care decision makers, including hospital preparedness coordinators, disaster planning teams, and key state and federal officials. With dedicated exhibit viewing time to network, you will not be disappointed!

For more information click here or contact Lisa Hartzell at

We would like to thank our corporate sponsors and exhibitors for their support of the 2017 Disaster Planning for California Hospitals Conference.

Silver Sponsors to Date:


Exhibitors to Date:

  • 3M
  • American Technologies, Inc.
  • ARC Products, LLC
  • BELFOR PropertyRestoration
  • California Poison Control
  • DQE, Inc.
  • Globalstar
  • Grainger
  • Guest Communications Corporation
  • ILC Dover
  • Image Sales
  • Intermedix
  • Kinemetrics, Inc.
  • Knowledge Center Enterprises, LLC
  • LiveProcess
  • Ludlum Measurement Inc.
  • MAXAIR Systems By Bio-Medical Devices Intl
  • Mortuary Response Solutions
  • Practical Hospital Services
  • ReddiNet
  • RRS Patient Decontamination 
  • SOS Survival Products
  • SRM ServiceMaster Recovery Management
  • X2nSat

Conference Committee


Cheri Hummel, CHEP, Vice President, Emergency Management & Facilities, California Hospital Association

Committee Members

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

Tim Beringer, Director, Safety, Security & Emergency Management, Eisenhower Medical Center

Ryan Burgess, Hospital Preparedness Coordinator, Hospital Association of Southern California

Steven Chin, MD, Disaster Medical Director, PIH Health Hospital – Whittier

Loni Howard, RN, MSN, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Sutter Medical Center

Jeffery Hudson-Covolo, Vice President for Patient Care Services & Chief Nurse Executive, Sierra View Medical Center

Monique Imroth, MEP, Director, Emergency Management, UC San Diego Health System

Vanessa King, Assistant Nurse Manager, Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District

Connie Lackey, RN, Director, Emergency Preparedness/Safety/Security, Providence Saint Joseph, Holy Cross, and Tarzana Medical Centers

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

Claudia Marroquin-Frometa, Disaster Preparedness Coordinator, Emergency Management, Centinela Hospital Medical Center, Prime Healthcare System

Mary Massey, BSN, MA, CHEP, PHN, Hospital Preparedness Consultant, California Hospital Association

Grady Murphy, Emergency Coordinator, UCLA Health System & David Geffen School of Medicine

Kathy Nacey, RN, MS, MICN, CEN, CPEN, EMS and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Methodist Hospital of Sacramento

Tracy Norwood, IP/OH Specialist, Banner Lassen Medical Center

Mark Shirley, Environmental Risk Consultant, Sutter Health

Kristina Spurgeon, Emergency Management Consultant, Kaiser Permanente

Wendi Thomas, RN, MSN, Nursing Director of Emergency Services, Critical Care and Nursing Administration, Petaluma Valley Hospital

Caryn Thornburg, Safety, Emergency Management and Sustainability Officer, Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare

Chau H. Vu, MEP, Director, Emergency Management, UCSF Medical Center