2017 CHA Conference Convenes Disaster Planners to Advance Hospital Readiness

More than 750 people attended CHA’s Disaster Planning for California Hospitals conference in Sacramento (see photo gallery), where emergency management professionals and community and government partners demonstrated their dedication to “powering readiness through partnerships.” Following an opening keynote from Michael Anderson, President, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals and senior vice president, children’s services, UCSF Health, attendees heard from Sridhar S. Chilimuri, physician-in-chief and chairman, department of medicine, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, who recounted firsthand the challenges and complexities of responding to an active shooter situation in the hospital. On the conference’s final day, a panel presented on the 2017 Oroville Dam crisis and how subsequent mandatory evacuations impacted hospitals. 

“The images of widespread devastation and human tragedy that have played out on our TV screens for the past few weeks should remind us that no one is immune when disaster strikes,” said Cheri Hummel, CHA’s vice president of emergency management and facilities. “Responding effectively when a disaster occurs requires preparation, planning and partnerships between the public and private sectors, including hospitals.”             

Additional conference highlights included 19 different breakout sessions on a variety of topics, including rural challenges in disaster management, the benefits of health care coalitions, pediatric emergency transport in disasters, cybersecurity and using plain language during emergency communications. The conference is the largest gathering of hospital emergency preparedness professionals in the state.