CHA News Article

Dr. Anna Pou to Address Disaster Planning Conference
3-day conference begins Sept. 21

Pou_edit.jpgAnna Pou, MD, a professor with the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, will give a keynote address Sept. 23 at CHA’s Disaster Planning for California Hospitals conference. In her presentation “Legal and Ethical Considerations in Crisis Care,” Pou will relay her experiences during Hurricane Katrina when she and her colleagues cared for critically ill patients under horrific and extremely austere conditions.

Later charged with murder for the death of patients, Pou’s experience underscores the need for crisis standards of care, as well as legal protections for health care professionals and hospitals. Pou has since championed precedent-setting legislation that is now law in Louisiana.

“These are some of the very difficult ethical and emotionally charged issues providers must address,” said Cheri Hummel, CHA vice president, disaster preparedness. “In a major disaster, when the health system is stressed and resources are limited, the standards of care will need to change.”

Following Pou’s presentation, a panel of physicians and hospital executives will offer their perspectives on how to engage physicians in the hospital’s disaster planning process. Panel presenters will include Asha Devereaux, MD, Sharp Coronado Hospital; Marcy Feit, CEO, ValleyCare Health System; Shannon McDougall, emergency management coordinator, St. Jude Hospital; and Eric A. Weiss, MD, medical director, Office of Emergency Services, Stanford Hospital/Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

More than 650 hospital physicians, staff and community partners are expected to attend the conference Sept. 21-23 in Sacramento. The annual conference is designed to help California hospitals enhance their disaster-preparedness efforts. The program includes general sessions, 12 breakout sessions on a wide variety of topics, an advanced-level HICS pre-conference workshop, best-practice displays and a 75-booth exhibit show.

For complete information, including the program agenda, and registration and hotel details, go to