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2012 Conference Overview

The 2012 program "Voice of Experience: When Infrastructure Fails" included:

John M. Auerbach, MBA, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Public Health 
John Auerbach was appointed Massachusetts’s Commissioner of Public Health in April 2007. Under his leadership the Department has developed new and innovative programs to address racial and ethnic disparities, to promote wellness (including the Mass in Motion campaign), to combat chronic disease and to support the successful implementation of the state’s health care reform initiative.

Prior to his appointment as Commissioner, Auerbach had been the Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission for nine years. He had previously worked at the State Health Department for a decade, first as the Chief of Staff and later as an Assistant Commissioner overseeing the HIV/AIDS Bureau.

Peter Brown, Chief of Staff, Office of CEO, Partners HealthCare 
Peter Brown is Chief of Staff to the President and CEO of Partners HealthCare. Brown works directly with the CEO and senior leadership to support and advance Partners’ mission and the message. Prior to his current position, Brown was Vice President of Public Affairs and Communication for Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Brown spent more than 25 years in television journalism. He started his career in radio news in 1977 and transitioned to television in 1978. After graduating from the University of Rhode Island in 1979, Brown worked as a broadcast producer at television stations in Providence (WJAR-TV), Philadelphia (WPVI-TV) and Boston (WBZ-TV), where he was News Director from 1993-2004, leading a staff of more than 125 journalists. Brown was honored with numerous awards from the Associated Press. He received an Emmy Award; a Best of Boston Award as Best News Director from Boston Magazine; and in 2000, he and his WBZ-TV news team received the Edward R. Murrow Award for best local news station in America.

Brown serves on the Board of the Massachusetts Hugh O’Brien Leadership Conference; is a member of the Boston Athletic Association; and has served as Chairman of the Board at the Family Justice Center of Boston. He also served on the External Affairs Committee for the Forsyth Institute in Boston.

Brown has worked with local and international government agencies and groups, sharing his expertise on dealing with the media around emergency events and offering guidance on how best to deliver communication during a crisis. As examples, he was involved in Operations “Atlas” and “Poseidon” through the City of Boston Department of Homeland Security and the City of Cambridge, MA.

Natural Hazards Risk – Why You Should Understand the Impacts to Your Hospital and the Benefits of Mitigation - Video
Michael J. Griffin, PE, Principal, CCS Group, Inc.
Mr. Griffin has more than 30 years of experience in practicing earthquake engineering. He has investigated damage caused by earthquakes around the world using the information in his day-to-day practice. He is one of the primary FEMA trainers in teaching the earthquake evaluation and mitigation of damage to structures and nonstructural components. He has both a Bachelor of Science and Master’s in Structural Mechanics from the University of California, Irvine, and is licensed in seven states.

Twisting Your Disaster Plan: Lessons Learned from the Tuscaloosa Tornado - Video
Andrew Lee, MSN, RN, CNL, Trauma Coordinator and Flight Nurse, DCH Regional Medical Center, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Mr. Lee is a 2004 Graduate of the University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing where he received a BSN degree. He returned to the University of Alabama in 2011 where he received an MSN degree as a Clinical Nurse Leader. Mr. Lee worked in the emergency department for three years, then assumed the role of Trauma Coordinator. He has been a flight nurse for four years. He is actively involved with disaster planning at the local and state level. Mr. Lee is also involved with the state trauma system as a member of the West Alabama Regional Task Force. He is a founding member of the first chapter for Men in Nursing in the south, and a member of the Emergency Nurses Association. He is currently an instructor in BCLS, PALS, ACLS, and TNCC. He and his wife, Genny, have two beautiful children, Thomas, 3, and Amelia Grace, 1.

Six Degrees of Disaster Separation - Video
Martin E. Thornton, DO, Chief Medical Officer, Texas DMAT, American Board of Disaster Medicine
Dr. Thornton is a 1983 Graduate of the University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine; he took postgraduate medical training in Detroit, Michigan. After two years serving in the US Public Health Service, he embarked on a 30-year career in Emergency Medicine. He is considered an expert in the area of Disaster Medicine. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer of Texas DMAT 4 and is a Board Member and current Chair for the American Board of Disaster Medicine. He has been actively deployed for many disaster missions. His participation in rescue operations at the New Orleans International Airport after Hurricane Katrina was followed by international Disaster Management and consultation in Guatemala during Hurricane Stan. He is an active member of ACEP, and he has personally participated in more than 30 Medical Missions in East Africa to round out his interests. He was a distinguished speaker featured at the World Hazmat Expo in 2007 and the James Steele annual conference in 2009. He is currently working with the Denton County Health Authority. He has spent two years working and studying Public Health, and is still a full time Emergency Medical physician. Dr. Thornton is an Adjunct Clinical Professor serving two medical universities. He published several articles on disaster medical practice in austere circumstances (following Hurricane Katrina). He is most proud of having two great children, a hospice nurse and partner in life of 25 years, his wife, and for having been recognized by EmCare Emergency Services in 2005 as the recipient of the National Commitment to Care award. He has a Mayoral Citation from Dallas, the Texas Gubernatorial Citation, and received US Congressional recognition in 2005. He served most recently in Haiti after its devasting earthquake, and he helped to open the Fisher Folks Clinic in Kigombe, Tanzania in conjunction with the International Hospital Association and Tanzanian Government. He is Board Certified as an Emergency Physician, Family Physician, and Disaster Medical Physician.

Joplin Tornado: Lessons Learned Video
Frank Veer, DO
, ER Attending; EM Residency Program, Freeman Health System
Dr. Veer is currently an Attending Physician in the emergency department at Freeman Health System in Joplin, MO. For the last several years he has been the Residency Program Director for the Emergency Medicine Residency, and the Medical Director for the Joplin SWAT team. Dr. Veer was on duty when an F5 tornado struck, destroying 50% of the healthcare in that city.

Conference Planning Committee

Bruce S. Auerbach, MD, Vice President and Chief, Emergency and Ambulatory Services, Sturdy Hospital and Chair, Region 5 Hospital Consortium 
for Emergency Preparedness

Judith A. Bernice, FACHE, Region 4AB Hospital Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Public Health 

Joan Cooper-Zack, RN, Emergency Preparedness Manager, South Shore Hospital

Michael Flanagan, Certified Emergency Manager

Edward Hennegan, EMS/Hospital Preparedness Planner, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Emergency Preparedness Bureau 

R. Lynn Schoeff, Senior Director of Emergency Preparedness, Cambridge Health Alliance 

Tina T. Wright, Program Manager, Emergency Management & Public Information, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers