CHA News Article

Disaster Planning Conference Keynote Focuses on Pediatric Preparedness

CHA’s annual Disaster Planning for California Hospitals conference began yesterday in Sacramento, bringing together hospital staff, emergency responders and state and county health officials. Following yesterday’s pre-conference workshop, which focused on compliance with federal requirements and standards, today’s session opened with a keynote from Michael Anderson, President, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals and senior vice president, children’s services, UCSF Health. During his presentation, Anderson emphasized the importance of including children, who represent more than 20 percent of the population, in disaster response planning.

Anderson noted that providers should be ready not only for mass disasters involving children — whose care needs are much different from those of adults — but also the “disaster of one,” where a child presents to an emergency room at any time with a life-threatening condition. Anderson urged the audience to be advocates for children in their workplaces and communities, unifying the group by calling out their shared desire to leave the world a safer place than they found it.

The conference continues through tomorrow with presentations on the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital shooting, the Oroville Dam crisis, an update from the California Department of Public Health and a panel presentation on the importance of interdisciplinary and interagency partnerships in managing infectious diseases.