The Annual Advancing & Redefining Communities (ARC) for Emergency Management Conference will be held November 28, 2017 at The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina in San Diego, CA. The conference will be held in conjunction with the National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Conference. Add the FULL ARC Conference to your registration today! Additional fees apply.

The Advancing & Redefining Communities for Emergency Management (ARC) Conference addresses innovative, evidence-based approaches to overcoming today’s leading public health preparedness and emergency management challenges.

Click here to learn more about ARC.

ARC Conference Schedule (Tuesday, November 28th)

7:00 AM – 1:00 PM         Registration

7:00 AM – 8:30 AM          Continental Breakfast

8:30 AM – 8:45 AM          Welcome and Opening Remarks, Aram Dobalian, Director,                                                                                          VEMEC

8:45 AM – 9:30 AM          Addressing Preparedness Efforts for the Home Bound

Health agencies working with homebound patients play a vital role in bolstering a community’s resiliency by improving the preparedness of this vulnerable population. Nevertheless, this role is one for which agencies lack training and resources, leaving many who are homebound at heightened risk of morbidity and mortality during emergencies and other crises. This session will describe the Home Health Agency/Home-Based Primary Care Disaster Preparedness Toolkit and the Patient Tool, which help support programs as they fulfill their Joint Commission and CMS preparedness requirements.


Speakers:            Tamar Wyte-Lake, Clinical Investigator, VEMEC

Barbara Citarella, President, RBC Limited Healthcare and Management Consultants

9:30 AM – 10:15 AM       Strengthening the Safety Net for People Experiencing Homelessness: The Homeless Toolkit

People experiencing homelessness face risks for adverse health outcomes during disasters. This session highlights a newly released federal interagency homeless toolkit offering resources and guidance to help emergency officials, homeless service providers, and health care providers plan for the disaster needs of homeless individuals in their communities. Panelists will discuss specific approaches for building an inclusive community emergency management system, ensuring that homeless providers have plans for service continuity, and planning in advance to provide disaster health care.

Speakers              June Gin, Investigator, VEMEC

                                David Canavan, HUD/SNAPS Lead Consultant, Canavan Associates

                               Cheryl Levine, At-Risk Individuals Team Lead, US Department of HHS

10:15 AM -10:30 AM     Networking Break

10:30 AM -11:15 AM      Oregon Case Study

In January 2017, the Portland Metro area suffered a major snowstorm, an unusual occurrence for the city. The storm, carrying the heaviest snowfall for the city since 2008, came on the heels of a major ice storm the weekend before. The combination of the two storms toppled trees, closed schools for almost a week, and cut power to thousands in the Portland Metro Area. There were five deaths as a result of the storm, all homeless individuals, including one infant. Members of the Oregon preparedness community will discuss how the City prepared for and responded to this unexpected natural disaster.

Speakers             Jonna Papaefthimiou, Planning and Preparedness Manager, Portland Bureau of

Emergency Management

                              Alice Busch, Division Chief of Operations, Multnomah County Emergency Management


11:15 AM -11:45 PM      Morning Workgroup Session

The workgroup session will allow attendees to gather in small groups to discuss topics relevant to their particular expertise, centered on the topics presented in the morning panel sessions.

 11:45 AM – 1:00 PM        LUNCH – Keynote Speaker & ARC Innovator of the Year Award

Keynote Speaker             Beth Romer, Executive Director Medical Education Strategy, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan

ARC Innovator of the Year (Individual Awardee)                

Skip Skivington, Vice President of Operations, Kaiser Permanente

1:00 PM – 1:45 PM                           Effective Communication Strategies

This panel showcases effective communication strategies using two research studies. The first study will identify practical lessons learned from the VA highlighting communication strategies between VA and its Veteran patients during natural disasters. The VA Preparedness Communication Surveys (VAPCS), the first probability-based survey on communication preferences of Veterans during disasters, identifies the most commonly used communication methods among VA-users. The second study will present the results of community leaders’ engagement in the development of a framework on local knowledge in preparedness related to emergency risk communications across vulnerable groups.

Speakers              Claudia Der-Martirosian, Associate Director, VEMEC

                                 Elena Savoia, Deputy Director Emergency Preparedness, Research, Evaluation &

Practice (EPREP) Program, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

1:45 PM – 2:45 PM                           Collaboration: Three Systems’ Perspectives

Healthcare Coalitions, whether rural or urban, continue to demonstrate value to their membership in planning for and responding to medical and public health emergencies. Whether individual organizational challenges, such as power outage, natural disasters or serving a critical role in the coordination of healthcare support for special event planning, traditional public safety and emergency management have come to count on the resources available through Healthcare Coalitions. This Presentation will highlight efforts of three systems; (1) provide an overview of MI Healthcare Coalition framework recognizing statewide planning initiatives while respecting the diversity of Coalition population, geography, membership and resources; (1) profile the experience of Chicago’s Department of Public Health in creating a community response plan to effectively respond to medical surges resulting from suspected clusters of opioid overdoses; and (3) describe a Disaster Collaboration Toolkit that was developed to address the unique challenges to collaborating with non-federal entities identified by VAMC emergency managers.

Speakers              Susan Schmitz, Senior Project Director, VEMEC

Linda Scott, Director of the Division of Emergency Preparedness and Response, State of Michigan

Nicholas Nelson, Project Manager, Hospital Preparedness Program, Chicago Department of Health


2:45 PM – 3:00 PM                           Afternoon Networking Break

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM                           San Diego Case Study

Since 2000, San Diego County has suffered three major wildfire incidents, each resulting in thousands of acres of damage, destroyed buildings, and numerous deaths. The most recent 2014 wildfires benefitted from lessons learned in earlier incidents. A key factor in the success of response was having established partnerships and communication strategies with utility companies and first responders throughout the County. This panel offers lessons learned and best practices from emergency managers and healthcare professionals from San Diego County. The panel will offer reflections on service delivery issues healthcare facilities face as a result of a crisis, and give guidance on the development of partnership communication strategies, and prioritizing administrative resources.

Speakers              Monique Imroth, Emergency Management Director, University Of California—San


                             Pauline Thomas, EMS Specialist, County of San Diego Health & Human Services



3:45 PM – 4:15 PM                           Afternoon Workgroup Session

The workgroup session will allow attendees to gather in small groups to discuss topics relevant to their particular expertise, centered on the topics presented in the afternoon panel sessions.

4:15 PM – 4:30 PM                           Closing Remarks, Tiffany Radcliff, Senior Investigator, VEMEC



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