W. Craig Vanderwagen, M.D., RADM, USPHS (Workshop Chair) is a Senior Partner with Martin, Blanck & Associates and joined the firm in November 2009. From August 2006 until July 2009, he was the founding Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In this role, Dr. Vanderwagen was responsible for the leadership and development of a new organization whose mission was to prepare the nation for response and recovery from public health and other health disasters, whether natural or manmade. The organization was initiated after Hurricane Katrina and formalized after the passage of the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act. Dr. Vanderwagen had a distinguished 28-year career in public service as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS). Before becoming Assistant Secretary, he deployed multiple times to disaster environments, including serving in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He also served as lead public health official and senior officer aboard the USNS Mercy in Indonesia after the tsunami in 2005; Director of Primary Care and Public Health for the Ministry of Health in Iraq from September 2003 to March 2004; consultant to the Pan American Health Organization in Honduras after Hurricane Mitch in 1999; and Medical Director for Project Provide Refuge (joint Department of Defense and HHS Kosovar refugee assistance) in 1999. Dr. Vanderwagen’s deployments were in addition to his duties in the USPHS, where he retired as the agency’s Chief Medical Officer after 25 years of service. During his career with the Indian Health Service, he provided leadership in the uses of electronic health records, and implementation of the use of best practices to combat chronic diseases. He was an early supporter of and the agency’s lead negotiator
for a majority of the early Self Governance Compacts. Dr. Vanderwagen serves on multiple boards of directors covering infectious diseases, disaster medicine, and public health preparedness. He is also an advisor to the International Federation of Biosafety Associations. He received a B.S. from Calvin College and an M.D. from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.
Daniel P. Aldrich, M.A., Ph.D., is Associate Professor and University Scholar at Purdue University, which he joined in 2008. Dr. Aldrich received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University, an M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Aldrich has authored and/or edited three books (Site Fights from Cornell University Press, Building Resilience from the University of Chicago Press, and Resilience and Recovery from Springer Press) along with more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, and OpEds in media outlets such as The New York Times, CNN, and the Asahi Shinbun. He has been a visiting scholar at the Japanese Ministry of Finance, the Institute for Social Science at Tokyo University, Harvard University, the Tata Institute for Social Science in Mumbai, the Institut d’etudes politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), and the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. He has spent more than 4 years conducting fieldwork in Japan, India, and France.
Kellie Bentz currently leads a team of specialists within the Global Crisis Management program at Target that develops and manages the crisis response plans, exercise plans, and special event monitoring enterprise-wide. Prior to accepting this role in July 2013, Ms. Benz was the Senior Director of Disaster Services at Points of Light. In this role, she led the strategy and execution for Points of Light’s global disaster services portfolio across the organization in preparedness, response, and recovery. She responded to disasters ranging from the 2011 Japan tsunami and earthquake to Superstorm Sandy to the Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes. Ms. Benz was chair of the Volunteer Management Committee for the National Organizations Active in Disaster. She started her career in crisis management with HandsOn Network in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. As the project matured into a local organization, Ms. Benz became the founding Executive Director of what is now HandsOn New Orleans. In addition, while in New Orleans, she served on multiple advisory boards, including the Greater New Orleans Kids Partnership,
Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans, and as Vice President of Louisiana Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster during Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Her most recent academic achievement was graduating from the Harvard National Preparedness Leadership Initiative Certificate Program in 2012. She graduated from the College of Charleston and in 2011 received the Alumni of the Year award for her contributions in the disaster philanthropy space.
Monique Davis, M.P.H., MCHES, CCPH, is a Health Educator/Risk Communicator/Planner for the Hudson LINCS Public Health Emergency Preparedness Team since 2003. In this role, Ms. Davis contributes to the overall planning for public health emergencies with partner agencies for the preparation for, mitigation of, response to, and recovery from such emergencies, naturally occurring disease outbreaks, and other disasters, including weather-related events. Ms. Davis also develops and conducts trainings related to public health emergency preparedness for various populations including community members, businesses, health care professionals and the academic community. She is the designated Risk Communicator at Hudson Regional Health Commission, and in that role she works closely with the state and county Public Information Officers to craft and disseminate timely and accurate health messages. Ms. Davis chairs Hudson County’s Medical Needs Shelter Steering Committee, and is an active member of the Northeast (New Jersey) Healthcare Coalition, the Northern Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Public Health Subcommittee, and the Northeast Region Public Health Emergency Preparedness Workgroup. Additionally, Ms. Davis is a member of the Executive Board of the National Public Health Information Coalition since 2010 (member since 2006), and a member of the New Jersey Society of Public Health Educators since 1984. She is also a member of the Communications Workgroup for the Public Health Accreditation Board. Prior to her role at Hudson Regional Health Commission, Ms. Davis worked as a health educator at a mid-sized community-based hospital, and as a consultant to local health departments for 10 years. She holds a Health Officer’s License in the state of New Jersey, is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist, and a Certified Communicator in Public Health. Ms. Davis graduated from Rutgers University with a B.S., and holds a Master’s in Public Health from Rutgers University Graduate Program in Public Health/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/ UMDNJ.
Aaron DeVries M.D., M.P.H., FIDSA, is the Medical Director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). In this role he provides leadership in infectious disease investigations, policy development, and public health preparedness activities, and consults on infectious disease issues throughout MDH. Among his many past activities, Dr. DeVries led the development and implementation of a statewide nurse triage line servicing all Minnesotans during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Medicine and the School of Public Health. He provides clinical care to patients with HIV and persons who have been sexually assaulted in his positon at Health Partners Specialty Center in St. Paul, MN. After receiving a B.S. from Calvin College and an M.D. from Vanderbilt University, Dr. DeVries completed a combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency, Infectious Disease Fellowship, and an M.P.H. at the University of Minnesota. Dr. DeVries was deployed to Louisiana in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and during Hurricane Rita as part of a Medical Reserve Corps unit.
Teresa Ehnert joined the Arizona Department of Health Services in 2005. Her primary responsibility as Bureau Chief of Public Health Emergency Preparedness is to direct the overall planning, development, implementation, coordination, and evaluation of the programs for Public Health Emergency Preparedness. She also serves as the Department’s Continuity of Operations Coordinator. Ms. Ehnert is responsible for coordinating state and regional planning committees on preparedness activities with Local Health Officers, Indian Health Services, Tribes, County Health, Hospitals, Community Health Centers, Poison Control, and many emergency response partners. She facilitates programs designed to enhance planning and response to public health emergencies. Ms. Ehnert also provides oversight and leadership for implementation and monitoring of work plans, budgets, and deliverables for two public health preparedness grants exceeding $20 million. Prior to her role at the Department of Health Services, she was a Chief Master Sergeant in the Air Force completing a career of nearly 27 years. Ms. Ehnert has a Master’s in Management from the University of Mary in Fargo, North Dakota.
Rahul Gupta, M.D., M.P.H., FACP, serves as the Health Officer and Executive Director at Kanawha-Charleston and Putnam County Health Departments in West Virginia. He is a clinical Assistant Professor of
Medicine at West Virginia University School of Medicine and adjunct Associate Professor at University of Charleston’s School of Pharmacy. Additionally, he serves on the medical consulting staff at Charleston Area Medical Center and Health Right clinic. Dr. Gupta works with various health care and public health organizations at state, national, and international levels to develop, integrate, and measure adherence to various public health initiatives, including those for the underserved and indigent population. Such initiatives are wide ranging from immunization initiatives and reduction of heart disease, stroke, and pneumonia related morbidity and mortality. He serves on the expert panel at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to measure the Global Burden of Disease. During his career, Dr. Gupta’s work has ranged from helping to initiate the first Pulse Polio campaign in Delhi in 1994, which led to the eventual eradication of the disease in India, to providing expertise and assistance in helping West Virginia University to obtain funding and establish its first School of Public Health. In 2012, he provided compiled reports and other support to the West Virginia legislature to enable the passage of legislation creating the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, the first office of its kind in the history of the state. In 2013, he assisted in leading a statewide grassroots effort to persuade the Governor to announce support for Medicaid expansion in West Virginia. Dr. Gupta earned an M.D. and subspecialty diploma in pulmonary medicine from University of Delhi. He completed his internship and residency training at St. Joseph Hospital/Northwestern University. Additionally, he earned an M.P.H. in health care organization and policy from the University of Alabama, Birmingham and is a recipient of a fellowship from the American College of Physicians. Dr. Gupta is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He currently serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). Additionally, he serves on several editorial boards and as a peer reviewer for medicine and public health journals, having authored more than 100 scientific publications. He has been a principal investigator for numerous well-known clinical trials. As a faculty member, he has received numerous teaching and other awards and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. Dr. Gupta is the 2013 Marie Fallon award recipient for public health leadership from the National Association for Local Boards of Health. During the 2014
legislative session, the West Virigina Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 54 recognizing Dr. Gupta’s various contributions to public health.
Dan Hanfling, M.D., is special advisor to the Inova Health System in Falls Church, Virginia, on matters related to emergency preparedness and disaster response. He is a board certified emergency physician practicing at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Northern Virginia’s Level I trauma center. He serves as an Operational Medical Director for PHI Air Medical, a helicopter emergency medical services (EMS) transport agency, and has responsibilities as a Medical Team Manager for Virginia Task Force One, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) sanctioned international urban search and rescue team. He has been involved in the response to numerous international and domestic disaster events. He was also integrally involved in the management of the response to the anthrax bioterror mailings, when two cases of inhalational anthrax were successfully diagnosed at Inova Fairfax. Dr. Hanfling recently served as Vice Chair of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Establishing Guidelines for Standards of Care During Disasters, and has authored and co-authored many articles on subjects related to hospital preparedness and response, surge capacity development, and crisis standards of care. Dr. Hanfling received an A.B. in political science from Duke University and was awarded his M.D. from Brown University. He completed an internship in Internal Medicine at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, and an Emergency Medicine Residency at George Washington/Georgetown University Hospitals. He is Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University, Contributing Scholar at the UPMC Center for Health Security and adjunct faculty of the George Mason University School of Public Policy, Office of International Medical Policy.
John Hick, M.D., is a faculty emergency physician at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) and an associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Minnesota. He serves as the associate medical director for Hennepin County emergency medical services and medical director for emergency preparedness at HCMC. He is medical advisor to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Medical Response System. He also serves the Minnesota Department of Health as the medical director for the Office of Emergency Preparedness and medical
director for Hospital Bioterrorism Preparedness. He is the founder and past chair of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Hospital Compact, a 29-hospital mutual aid and planning group active since 2002. He is involved at many levels of planning for surge capacity and adjusted standards of care and traveled to Greece to assist in health care system preparations for the 2004 Summer Olympics as part of a 15-member team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and HHS. He is a national speaker on hospital preparedness issues and has published numerous papers dealing with hospital preparedness for contaminated casualties, personal protective equipment, and surge capacity.
Ana-Marie Jones is the Executive Director of CARD (Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters), a nonprofit created by local community agencies after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Under her leadership, CARD has developed an alternative approach to emergency preparedness, disaster response, and continuity planning activities. Incorporating research from diverse fields, including adult learning, brain function, advertising and marketing, past disasters, and social change, CARD’s curriculum successfully de-emphasizes “disasters” and “emergencies” as the impetus for action. Before joining CARD in 2000, Ms. Jones worked for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, managing projects supporting nonprofits and access and functional needs issues. She was also the acting Executive Director of the Northern California Disaster Preparedness Network, a 5-year funding initiative designed to address emergency preparedness and disaster response for agencies serving multi-ethnic, at-risk, and other diverse communities. The Japanese Central Government has twice brought Ms. Jones to Japan to share her approach with government, emergency management, university, and nonprofit leaders. In 2005 she joined the faculty at University of California, Berkeley, as a guest lecturer, and her written works have been published in the United Kingdom and in the United States. Over the past several years she has won three cable television Telly Awards. She is one of seven people recognized for innovations in emergency management in FEMA’s 2013 Strategic Foresight Initiative, under “Big Issues. Strong Leaders. Bold Action.” In 2013 she was also inducted into the International Women in Homeland Security and Emergency Management Hall of Fame. She is a graduate of EuroCentro-Firenze, in Florence, Italy, and she was the elected Team
Leader of the San Francisco Team Management and Leadership Program (a graduate program of Landmark Education LLC) during 9/11.
Lynne Kidder, M.A. (Preparedness Forum Co-Chair), is a Boulder, Colorado-based consultant and the former President and CEO of the Bipartisan WMD Terrorism Research Center (the WMD Center). The WMD Center is a not-for-profit research and educational organization founded by former Senators Bob Graham and Jim Talent at the conclusion of the Congressional Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation, and Terrorism. She remains a member of its Board of Directors. Ms. Kidder was the principal investigator for the WMD Center’s 2011 Bio-Response Report Card, designed to promote a wider understanding of the unique threats and challenges of bioterrorism and the actions required for effective response to either deliberate or naturally occurring biological disasters. Ms. Kidder has served as a Senior Advisor to the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, a Department of Denfense organization based at U.S. Pacific Command that provides training to enhance civil military, inter-agency, and nongovernmental organization coordination during international disaster response. From 2005 to 2010, she was Senior Vice President at Business Executives for National Security, where she led the development and nationwide implementation of programs to facilitate resilience-focused public private collaboration. Ms. Kidder’s other professional experience includes executive-level management in state government, corporate government affairs, and 8 years as professional staff in the U.S. Senate. She also served for 5 years as executive director of the nonprofit North Bay Leadership Council, in Northern California, and was credited with leading numerous regional initiatives among private employers, public officials, and other civic leaders. She holds a B.A. from Indiana University, an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, and did postgraduate study in public administration at George Mason University.
Michael “Mac” McClendon joined the Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services (HCPHES) in Texas in 2005 as Emergency Management Coordinator. In 2006 he was named Chief of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and in March 2007 was named Director. Mr. McClendon is responsible for all hazard planning and response to public health emergencies. He is also experienced in developing and implementing emergency preparedness plans within the all-hazards framework
and represents public health on many local, state, and federal planning committees. He was formerly the Emergency Response Chief for a major chemical manufacturer and has more than 26 years of experience in emergency response and management, including fire, heavy rescue, hazardous materials and EMS. Mr. McClendon currently chairs the NACCHO Preparedness Policy Advisory Group and serves on the NACCHO Incident Management working group. He also serves on the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials/NACCHO national Health Security Preparedness Index steering committee. He is a member of the Texas Task Force One Urban Search and Rescue Team, for which he serves as a Task Force Safety Officer and is also a member of the State of Texas Region 2 Type 3 Incident Management Team. He also served on the State of Texas Incident Management Team (IMT) Steering Committee representing Emergency Support Function 8. He is also an adjunct instructor for the Texas A&M Texas Engineering Extension Service Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Preparedness & Response Division. He has also responded to many local, state, and federal disasters, including the Texas US&R Texas A&M bonfire collapse, multiple Texas flooding incidents, Hurricane Dennis, 9/11 at the World Trade Center, Texas US&R World Series State deployment Houston, Hurricane Katrina Mega Shelter Operation Reliant Park unified command, HCPHES hepatitis A mass vaccination response in Houston/Harris County, HCPHES/CDC joint salmonella investigation and response Houston/Harris County, HCPHES Hurricane Ike response, recovery, and the Novel H1N1 influenza response.
Suzet M. McKinney, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., currently serves as Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response at the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), where she oversees the emergency preparedness efforts for the Department, coordinating those efforts within the larger spectrum of the City of Chicago’s Public Safety activities. Dr. McKinney also oversees the CDPH Division of Women & Children’s Health and is the former senior advisor for Public Health and Preparedness at the Tauri Group, where she provided strategic and analytical consulting services to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), BioWatch Program, including creative, responsive, and operationally-based problem-solving for public health, emergency preparedness, and homeland security issues, specifically chemical and biological early detection systems and the implementation of those systems at the state and local levels. She serves
as Incident Commander for CDPH and is a member of Chicago’s Incident Management Team. In academia, Dr. McKinney serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and as the Coordinator of the School’s Online Emergency Preparedness Certificate Program. She also serves as a mentor for the Biomedical Sciences Careers Project at Harvard University, as well as the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative Executive Education Program at Harvard University. Dr. McKinney holds her Doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, a Master of Public Health degree from Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, and a B.A. in Biology from Brandeis University (Waltham, Massachusetts).
John Osborn, M.Sc., is operations administrator in the Department of Practice Administration at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, supporting the Mayo Clinic Care Network and affiliated practices. He is responsible for practice and business development nationwide, and provides strategic leadership for e-health products and services. Prior to this assignment, he was operations manager for general and trauma surgery in the Department of Surgery, and administrator of the Mayo Clinic Level 1 Trauma and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Centers. He has been with Mayo Clinic since 2004. Mr. Osborn also serves as the lead administrator for mass casualty incident planning and response for Mayo Clinic, and is the administrator for business continuity within the affiliated practices. He is currently assistant professor of health care systems engineering in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He is an active member of several national organizations, serving on the boards of directors of the Trauma Center Association of America and the Association of Academic Surgical Administrators. He is also a member of the Sector Coordinating Council for health care and public health within the Critical Infrastructure Protection Advisory Committee system, and the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Disaster Medicine. Mr. Osborn received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame and an M.Sc. in Decision Sciences from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Rosanne Prats, Sc.D., M.H.A., works for the Department of Health & Hospitals (DHH) as the executive director of emergency preparedness. She received her doctorate at Tulane University. She came to DHH with health care work experience in the federal, state, and private sectors. Dr.
Prats’s work experience includes several years of working for the federal government in Information Technology Services as a program manager and computer specialist. While pursuing her M.H.A. at Tulane University, she held a residency position at DHH’s Office of Public Health. She was a key player in developing the Louisiana Public Health Institute, a nonprofit entrepreneurial vehicle through which the promotion of public health activities could be furthered. In 1997, she was recruited to work in the private sector for the largest private hospital system, Columbia/HCA. As one of four consultants, she developed, interpreted, and evaluated market demographics and competitor analyses to determine strategic placement of clinics primarily in the Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana markets. In 1997, Dr. Prats was recruited to work with Columbia/HCA’s Legal Department to develop the Compliance Department for the company. In 1999, Dr. Prats returned to Louisiana to assist the State Health Officer in developing and implementing DHH’s Emergency Preparedness Disaster Plan. This current position involves coordinating among local, state, and federal agencies.
Gary W. Schenkel, M.P.A., is executive director of the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC). He has led at the most senior level in the U.S. Department of Defense, a major metropolitan police department, and in federal law enforcement. Prior to becoming director of OEMC, he served as Acting Assistant Secretary for DHS, Office of State and Local Law Enforcement. He was assigned to that post after having served as director of the Federal Protective Service (FPS), the national law enforcement agency responsible for the security of federal facilities throughout the United States from 2007 through 2010. A retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel, Mr. Schenkel has significant leadership experience in a wide range of areas, including law enforcement, organizational structuring and transformation efforts, security planning for public and private facilities, logistical planning and execution, and business administration. Throughout his career, he has established excellent relationships with stakeholders, partners, and clients and has a clear understanding of the place security holds in the flow of commerce. Prior to leading FPS, Mr. Schenkel served as assistant federal security director for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Chicago Midway Airport. Before joining TSA, Mr. Schenkel served as acting deputy superintendent and assistant deputy superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, the nation’s second largest police force, where he was one of only two civilians in the
department’s history to be given operational command over uniformed officers. He headed the department’s antiterrorism efforts following the 9/11 attacks. Mr. Schenkel is a 29-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in both enlisted and officer grades, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2000. In his three decades of service, he garnered significant leadership experience, including command of a 1,200-man company during combat operations in Desert Storm in 1991. In addition, he developed nuclear response plans and executed various logistical projects, including what was then the largest single movement of nuclear weapons in U.S. history. Prior to retiring from the Marine Corps, Mr. Schenkel served as Operations Officer at the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab in Quantico, Virginia, where he focused on long-range planning related to urban combat and the Marine mission in the 21st century. Mr. Schenkel is a graduate of Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Missouri, and California State University in Hayward, California.
Kenneth W. Schor, D.O., M.P.H., M.S., is a federal civilian faculty member of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), serving as the acting director of the National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health. He retired as a Captain (O-6 rank) in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps in 2009 after nearly 27 years of active duty service. He holds a faculty appointment as assistant professor, Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics. Academic credentials include a B.A., cum laude, Allegheny College; a D.O., Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine; an M.S. (National Resources Strategy), Distinguished Graduate, National Defense University Industrial College of the Armed Forces; and an M.P.H., USU. Graduate medical education includes Non-categorical Medicine Internship, Naval Medical Center, San Diego; Family Practice Residency, Naval Hospital, Jacksonville; and General Preventive Medicine Residency, USU. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine and remains Board Eligible in Family Medicine. Dr. Schor’s final four duty stations include USU as associate program director of general preventive medicine residency; medical director for humanitarian assistance, disaster response, and international health policy for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability Operations, Pentagon; preventive medicine officer for Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps; and amphibious task force surgeon and officer-in-charge of Fleet Surgical Team 6. His personal military awards include the Defense Superior Services Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Defense
Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and two awards of the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
Richard Serino was recently named a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Harvard School of Public Health, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative. Mr. Serino was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate as FEMA’s Eighth Deputy Administrator in 2009 and served until 2014. Previously, he was as chief of Boston EMS and assistant director of the Boston Public Health Commission. During his time at FEMA, Mr. Serino traveled to more than 60 disasters nationwide to hear directly from survivors and build relationships with whole community partners. He saw flooding throughout the Midwest, fires in Colorado and Texas, tornadoes that devastated Joplin, Missouri, tsunami destruction in American Samoa, and hurricane-stricken areas in the south and along the east coast, including Hurricanes Irene, Isaac, and Sandy. During Mr. Serino’s time at FEMA he led the Whole Community and Survivor-centric themes at FEMA and throughout emergency management. The improvements he championed were focused on emphasizing financial accountability, improving the use of analytics to drive decisions, advancing the workforce, and fostering a culture of innovation. Under Mr. Serino’s leadership, FEMA has started initiatives such as FEMA Corps, FEMA Stat, the FEMA Think Tank, a detailed budgetary process, and a Disaster Workforce and Workplace Transformation. While serving as Chief, Mr. Serino served as Incident Commander for more than 35 mass casualty incidents and for all of Boston’s major planned events, including the Boston Marathon, Boston’s Fourth of July celebration, First Night, and the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Mr. Serino attended Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in State and Local Government program in 2000, completed the Kennedy School’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative in 2005, and graduated from the Executive Leadership Program, Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School. Mr. Serino has received numerous local, national, and international awards for heroism, leadership, and innovation.
Umair A. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., was appointed in 2013 as the Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services executive director and
the local health authority for Harris County, Texas, the third most populous county in the United States. Previously, Dr. Shah had served as HCPHES deputy director and its director of disease control and clinical prevention since 2004. Prior to joining HCPHES, he was chief medical officer at Galveston County Health District and since 1999 an emergency department physician at Houston’s Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. He earned his B.A. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University; his M.D. from the University of Toledo Health Science Center; and his Internal Medicine residency, a Primary Care/General Medicine Fellowship, and his M.P.H. from the University of Texas Health Science Center. In addition to completing an international health policy internship at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, he has provided leadership through the American Public Health Association, CDC, the IOM, and NACCHO. Dr. Shah currently serves on NACCHO’s board of directors. His numerous large-scale emergency response roles have involved Tropical Storm Allison; Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike; novel H1N1; and earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti. His focus areas include population health, wellness, and prevention; health “innovation” technology; health care management; global/refugee health; health equity; and community/stakeholder engagement. He remains engaged in clinical patient care and academic teaching, and is actively involved in the local community.
Andrew Stevermer, M.S.N., is a regional emergency coordinator with ASPR. He has promoted regional emergency preparedness since 2000 through work with the Office of Emergency Preparedness, FEMA, CDC, and ASPR. He had a 31-year career as a commissioned officer in the USPHS, working in a variety of health programs as a nurse practitioner, program manager, and consultant to many Indian Health Service and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) programs. From 2009 to 2011, he served as a liaison officer between ASPR and the Public Health Agency of Canada to promote collaboration between the United States and Canada on emergency preparedness and response activities. He has participated in leadership roles in many domestic and international disaster responses. He received a B.S.N. from the University of Minnesota, and an M.S. in Nursing with specialization as a Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of Washington.
Captain Rob Tosatto, M.P.H., M.B.A., serves as director of the Division of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps at HHS. He is
the principal advisor to the U.S. Surgeon General, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response on issues of civilian volunteers and their participation in public health initiatives and emergency preparedness/response activities. He is a strong advocate for reducing disaster risk, building community resilience, and engaging young members of our society in these efforts. He is directly responsible for overseeing the establishment, implementation, and coordination of Medical Reserve Corps units in communities nationwide. Captain Tosatto has been a USPHS officer since 1988, and has completed tours of duty with the Office of Global Health Affairs, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Indian Health Service, including assignments on the Navajo, Fort Hall, and Pine Ridge reservations. He has been deployed on numerous occasions, including response missions following the anthrax mailings in 2001, Hurricane Katrina, and several humanitarian and national special security events. He holds an R.Ph. (bachelor’s degree) from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and master’s degrees in both Public Health and Business Administration from the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
Lori Upton, M.S., CEM, is the director of regional preparedness for SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council. Ms. Upton has extensive clinical experience in emergency and trauma nursing. She authored several peer-reviewed articles on medical components of disaster response and planning, and she authored the Disaster Chapter of Emergency Nurses Pediatric Course, 4th edition. She speaks nationally and internationally on coalition building, and developing and integrating medical disaster planning and response. Her expertise has been deployed on federal and state incidents, including Hurricane Andrew and 9/11, and she served as medical operations chief for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike. Ms. Upton has served on local, state, and national committees including the IOM, the Governor’s Emergency and Trauma Advisory Council, Department of State Health Services Preparedness Coordinating Council, and the UASI Health and Medical Committee. She has B.S.N. and M.S. degrees and she is a Certified Emergency Manager.
Jolene R. Whitney, M.P.A., is deputy director for the Bureau of EMS and Preparedness, Utah Department of Health. She supervises 24 staff performing various functions related to EMS and trauma system
development (including stroke and STEMI), chemical stockpile emergency preparedness, surge capacity and MCI Planning, ED, trauma and prehospital patient care databases, EMS licensing and operations, EMS certification and testing, critical incident stress management, national disaster medical system, EMS medical disaster resources, EMS grants program, and the EMS for Children program. Ms. Whitney has worked with the Bureau for more than 33 years. She co-chaired a task force that developed one of the first set of air ambulance regulations in the country. Ms. Whitney earned her M.P.A. from Brigham Young University and a B.S. in Health Sciences, with an emphasis in Community Health Education, from the University of Utah. She was certified as an EMT-Basic in 1979 and obtained certification as an EMT instructor and EMT III (Intermediate) in 1983. She is co-author of six publications pertaining to domestic violence, preventable trauma mortality, Western state rural care challenges, and state and hospital surge capacity planning. Ms. Whitney has served on national assessment teams, which include state EMS system assessments for National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and American College of Surgeons trauma system assessments. She served as a HRSA rural trauma grant reviewer and contributor to the development of the HRSA model trauma system plan, the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) trauma system planning guide, National Trauma Data Standards, and the NHTSA curriculum for the EMT refresher course. She served as chair and vice chair for the National Council of State Trauma System Managers/NASEMSO for 5 years. She also served on the NASEMSO Highway Information and Transportation Committee and assisted in the development of the Emergency Response Readiness Assessment and the corresponding data model. She is a member of the American Trauma Society and Utah Emergency Managers Association. Ms. Whitney spent 250 hours in the Olympic Command Center, serving as a hospital liaison for the Utah Department of Health during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. She recently served on the IOM Crisis Standards of Care Committee and helped to craft the EMS section of A Systems Framework for Catastrophic Disaster Response. She chaired the planning committee for the IOM Preparedness and Response to a Rural Mass Casualty Incident Workshop. In 2013, she served once again on the IOM Crisis Standards of Care Committee and helped craft the Crisis Standards of Care: A Toolkit for Indicators and Triggers.