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* Agenda and Speakers are Subject to Change


"The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google
Disaster Information Tool-Kits for the 21st Century"

Dr. Eric Noji The humanitarian context presents unique challenges for the design, deployment and use of information systems. Interpretations of the term ‘humanitarian’ vary and it is generally associated with actions and operations that seek to alleviate human suffering in the face of threatening or existing crises as diverse as armed conflicts or political unrest, epidemics and public health threats, famine and natural hazards. These crises often occur in fragile environments characterized by higher levels of vulnerability including low incomes, sparse infrastructure and in some cases low levels of IT skills. Uncertainties linked to climate change brings with it new challenges such as environmental refugees and loss of livelihoods. Also, the response to these crises is often international in nature, generating the requirement that information systems foster information sharing and processing both locally and globally. Humanitarian information management is therefore critical to a diverse range of organizations responding to these humanitarian challenges, including donor agencies, governmental organizations, United Nations agencies, Red Cross Movement, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), scientific and research institutes, academia, the media and private sector.

Dr. Noji will examine the future of crisis management information systems and consider how our rapidly changing socio-technical environments are affecting the ways we respond to disasters, emergencies and other humanitarian crises. Specifically, I will make some remarks on the use of the four most popular social-networking, communications, chat, iTV, IM, SMS, mobile tele-health, cloud computing, information search engines and microblogging services that were used for rescue efforts following the Haiti earthquake in January and for fund-raising to help stabilize and rebuild the country.

Dr. Eric K. Noji is a physician and Senior Vice President/Chief Global Relations Officer of the AllHumanity Group and Director of the organization's offices in Washington DC and Geneva, Switzerland. For the past 25 years he has served on numerous occasions as Senior Technical Adviser, Team Leader, Program/ Project Manager, and consultant responsible for assessing and solving a wide variety of health sector problems. Clients have included government agencies, NGOs, universities and international organizations such as USAID, WHO, UNICEF, and the World Bank that provide disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, reconstruction, emergency preparedness and crisis monitoring. From 1989 to 2006, Dr. Noji was the Director of the Office of International Emergency and Refugee Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He has unparalleled experience and expertise in key emergency activities such as crisis fund-raising, facilitating fast-track procurement and acquisition procedures, and rapid talent and technology brokering.

He has written extensively on humanitarian issues such as quality control, development of guidelines for best practices, catastrophic risk management, operational medicine education, and applied disaster research. In 2005, he was elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the US National Academies of Science. An undergraduate at Stanford, he completed his medical studies, graduate work and residency training at the University of Rochester, the University of Chicago and the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene & Public Health.



"Incorporating Lessons Learned to Improve Preparedness"

Dr. Linda Y. Landesman In her presentation, Dr. Landesman will discuss how historians have recorded a vivid history of disasters that have plagued the United States and the world for hundreds of years and with the increase in the number and severity of events, how scholars and responders have dedicated their efforts to improving our country’s readiness in the last forty years. With clear recognition of the fact that knowledge has not necessarily translated into better preparedness or response, Dr. Landesman’s presentation will review key disasters that occurred in the past century with a focus on what was learned from each. She will discuss the challenges for communities is how to incorporate those lessons into actions that reduce morbidity and mortality in future disasters, understand key outcomes that result from these disasters and offer suggestions as to how to begin formalizing next steps in incorporating lessons learned.

Dr. Landesman was former Chair of the Executive Board for the American Public Health Association. She is a national expert on the role of public health in disaster preparedness and response and a leader in health care policy and administration. She has edited and authored six books, including the landmark book, Public Health Management of Disasters: The Practice Guide, now in its second edition, and has developed national standards for emergency services response. Dr. Landesman earned her BA and MSW degrees from the University of Michigan and practiced clinical social work for 10 years. She received her DrPH in health policy and management from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Landesman is currently on faculty of the Public Health Practice Program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where she teaches public health emergency management online.



"Crisis Standards of Care: Public Health Challenges in Responding to the Needs of Vulnerable Populations During Catastrophic Disasters"

Mr. Jack Herrmann The conference will conclude with a Capstone presentation facilitated by Mr. Jack Herrmann, Senior Advisor for Public Health Preparedness at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), an association that represents approximately 2,800 local public health departments across the country. In his presentation, he will discuss that although all disasters present obstacles and challenges for public health, emergency management and health care personnel, large scale disasters present unique circumstances in a community’s ability to protect the health and welfare of its population, especially those considered at-risk or vulnerable. Catastrophic disasters, those resulting in significant deaths and injuries, and where the infrastructure of that community is severely compromised (i.e. closure of healthcare facilities due to damage, heavy surge of patients requiring medical care, etc.) can present the toughest challenges. Health professionals and disaster personnel must be prepared to adapt usual standards of care to respond to this unusual event. Deviating from traditional treatment protocols can present legal and ethical challenges and result in adverse consequences in public relations, especially involving vulnerable populations such as older adults, minorities, or other disenfranchised individuals. Mr. Herrmann will lead the audience discussing accomplishments and challenges in crisis standards of care planning, in particular, how to address and resolve legal & ethical issues, building & sustaining partnerships with agencies representing vulnerable populations, engaging community and other stakeholder input, training & preparing their workforce, and exercising & evaluating their plan.

Jack Herrmann is the Senior Advisor for Public Health Preparedness at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), an association that represents approximately 2,800 local public health departments across the country. In this role, Mr. Herrmann manages the organization’s preparedness portfolio aimed at enhancing and strengthening the preparedness and response capacity of local health departments. He also serves as the organization’s chief preparedness liaison to local, state, and federal partner agencies.

Prior to arriving to NACCHO, Mr. Herrmann was assistant professor of Psychiatry and director of the Program in Disaster Mental Health at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry. Over his 17 years with the University, he brought a wealth of experience to the fields of disaster mental health, suicide prevention, and employee assistance program services.

As a long time volunteer with the American Red Cross, Mr. Herrmann has responded to numerous national disaster relief operations including the Northridge California Earthquake, the explosion of TWA Flight 800, and a variety of hurricanes and floods. He was assigned as the mental health coordinator for the Family Assistance Center in New York City immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2001 and also assisted the New York City Mayor's Office in coordinating the first and second year anniversaries of that event. In 2005, he was deployed as the Client Services Administrator for the Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita relief operations (Louisiana), coordinating the health, mental health, and client casework services for the first month following that storm. In 2006, Mr. Herrmann was assigned as the Mental Health Manager following the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Mr. Herrmann earned a master's degree in education from the University of Rochester, is certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) and is a licensed mental health counselor in the State of New York.


“Vulnerable Populations in Hawaii and Focal Points for Emergency Managers”

Mr. Edward Teixeira It is estimated that more than one third of Hawaii’s population fall within the vulnerable population category, which includes the disabled, frail and the elderly and those citizens who have limited English language proficiency. Even before a disaster strikes, the needs of these various vulnerable populations could overwhelm the limited resources of local and State government and therefore “capacity building” is important. Mr. Teixeira will discuss key issues to be addressed, including special planning considerations in disaster preparedness and resources during emergency response operations and the importance of incorporating input from these populations into emergency response plans and developing partnerships with community organizations to validate these plans.

Mr. Edward Teixeira began his service with the Hawaii State Civil Defense Division in 1996 and has served as the Vice Director of Civil Defense since October 1, 1999.

As Vice Director, Mr. Teixeira is responsible for the State Civil Defense Division, located at the Birkhimer Emergency Operating Center, Diamond Head Crater.

The mission of the division is to prepare for and respond to disasters and emergencies caused by natural or man-made hazards. This important mission is implemented through hazard mitigation, disaster preparedness, homeland security, emergency response, and disaster recovery programs.

During major disasters, Mr. Teixeira serves as State Coordinating Officer and Governor’s Authorized Representative. In this capacity, Mr. Teixeira coordinates State disaster response actions and works closely with the Federal Coordinating Officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency and with other officials from the Department of Homeland Security.


"Emergency Preparedness for Children with Special Health Care Needs"

Dr. Loren Yamamoto In this highly informative and practical presentation, Dr. Yamamoto will address the important and often misunderstood needs of children as ‘little adults’ and will discuss special health care needs of children in disaster situations that are dependent on special services such as oxygen, electricity, pharmaceuticals, nutrition, monitoring equipment, mechanical devices, and medical management by subspecialists. Topics to be covered include: the Emergency Information Form (EIF) created and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), which facilitates the management of some of their special health care needs during a disaster; the most commonly encountered disaster is likely to be electrical power failure for electrical technology dependent children and electrical power failure back-up strategies will be discussed and more.

Dr. Yamamoto is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine and the Emergency Medicine Director and Vice Chair of Staff at the Kapiolani Medical Center For Women and Children. In addition, he serves as the Chief Editor of Radiology Cases in Emergency Medicine and Advanced Pediatric Life Support and as an Editorial Board member for the American Journal of Emergency Medicine and Pediatric Emergency Care. He is Chair of the AAP/ACEP Steering Committee on Advanced Pediatric Life Support and holds national positions with the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr Yamamoto also peer reviews more than a dozen journals in the field of pediatrics and/or emergency medicine, including JAMA and Pediatrics and Annals of Emergency Medicine. His clinical and research interests span across the fields of pediatrics, emergency medicine, maternal and child health, epidemiology, computer science, medical education, preventative medicine, health services administration, business administration, telecommunications and parenting. Dr. Yamamoto has published 117 journal articles, authored 38 textbooks and reference publications, as well as more than 70 electronic submissions. He is also certified as a professional tennis instructor with the U.S. National Tennis Academy.


"Mapping and Tracking Vulnerable Populations Using Geospatial Technologies"

Ms. Christina Finch Ms. Christina Finch, M.S. will discuss how hazard risks are not distributed evenly nor do all people have the same capacity to prepare for, respond to, cope with or recover from a hazard event, presenting challenges in emergency management. As interactions between natural hazards, the built environment and social systems become more complex, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are an integral tool for capturing, managing, analyzing and displaying all forms of spatial information. As seen in Katrina and other disasters, certain segments of the population are disproportionately affected by hazards due to socioeconomic characteristics. Ms. Finch will demonstrate how GIS and vulnerability assessments can be used to identify priorities, target preparedness measures, plan response actions and highlight areas with potential for uneven recovery.

As Pacific Disaster Center’s (PDC) Senior Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Analyst, Ms. Finch draws on the full range of skills developed through her experiences, which include: applying Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology; academic research on environmental hazards and social vulnerability; and her participation in federal disaster operations, including response, mitigation and recovery. Ms. Finch has completed multiple risk assessments for a range of hazards and locations. One of these assessments identified vulnerable populations to potential dam inundation in the State of Hawaii. Another significant project utilized dasymetric mapping principles to transform U.S. Census data to a 30m population grid. The results from the dasymetric mapping provide a significant improvement in the distribution of population and will be a valuable asset to emergency management planning.

Prior to joining PDC Ms Finch was Lab Manager at the Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute (HVRI) at the University of South Carolina. In this role she managed GIS resources, project development, and supervised 10 -15 staff. Projects included: the development of social vulnerability metrics, state and local government emergency planning support, development of grant proposals, maintenance of hazard databases, and the generation of outreach materials.

Ms. Finch was a Mitigation GIS Lead for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from 2005 – 2006, providing GIS support for the FEMA Region IV Disaster Assistance Employee Cadre. She responded to the 2004 Hurricane season in Florida, Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi, two severe flooding projects in California, and assisted in the Mapping and Analysis Center in Washington, D.C. In each of these deployments, Ms. Finch was able to utilize her GIS skills and academic background in environmental hazards and social vulnerability to support FEMA mitigation projects, such as a spatial analysis of severe repetitive loss properties; a spatial examination of designated floodplains, Hurricane Katrina storm surge, level of damage and homeowners insurance; and an estimation of economic losses avoided due to mitigation measures.

While studying for her Master’s Degree at the University of South Carolina, Ms. Finch was employed with the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute (HVRI). Through her employment she was able to combine her knowledge of GIS, environmental hazards, and social vulnerability, to address practical applications and theoretical development. Ms. Finch developed her knowledge of environmental hazards, specifically studying the social, economic and cultural dynamics involved throughout the emergency management cycle. These elements were integrated in her Masters thesis, which evaluated the spatial (county level) and temporal (1960-2000) trends in social vulnerability throughout the United States.


"Cultural Considerations in Disaster Recovery"

Dr. Kimo Alameda In his presentation, Dr. Alameda will address the need to enhance training to develop culturally sensitive and competent services in all disaster-related activities and services, highlighting cultural perspectives in disaster recovery while keeping in mind the universal and personal dimensions of a helping relationship, within the context of Hawaii’s unique cultural mix with specific applications on cultural competence within our ‘local’ culture.

Dr. Kimo Alameda is the Director of the Office of Multicultural Services at the Hawaii State Department of Health’s Adult Mental Health Division where he is responsible for developing a statewide multicultural strategic plan as well as providing cultural competency technical assistance, policy development and trainings to Community Mental Health Centers and private agencies contracted by the Department of Health. He is also the Statewide Cultural Specialist and Trainer at the Hawaii State Department of Health’s Office of Health Equity providing technical assistance, trainings and consultations to other Department of Health offices through the Office of Health Equity.