March 16 announcement: in light of recent news, the event is being offered as a webinar only.
Join us for the 4th Emergency Preparedness for the Health Care Industry conference. Target audience: professionals working mainly in hospitals, but also in pre-hospital emergency services, public health and other organizations involved in the health care sector.


This conference is produced by Spark Conferences in collaboration with:

Education Partners

Sponsors and Exhibitors

Media Partners

Annual Conference

Delegates attend each year

Percent health care focused


Visit us often for updates. The current agenda is being modified to fit the webinar format and current health care related events.

08:00 AM - 08:50 AM

"Healthy Start" Breakfast

08:50 AM - 09:00 AM
Welcome Remarks

Stephanie Trowbridge
Manager Emergency Preparedness│Corporate Policy Lead
Interim Senior Manager Office of the President
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH)

Frank Tourneur
Senior Director Emergency Preparedness and Radiation Safety
Corporate Radiation Safety Officer

University Health Network

09:00 AM - 09:45 AM
Session 1

Health Care Emergency Management: Evolving the Future of the Profession

Health care facilities and healthcare delivery are increasing in complexity, just as climate-related and other hazards are increasing in frequency and severity. Together with higher public expectations and resultant regulation, the roles of healthcare emergency managers have broadened and become far more complex. At the same time, healthcare emergency management is not well understood by policymakers and healthcare senior executives, hampering the evolution of both the science and the profession.

Session Objectives:
• Briefly review the history of healthcare emergency management
• Present actionable ideas for advancing emergency management effectiveness and recognition as a health care management profession

Dr. Joseph Barbera
Associate Professor of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering (Crisis & Emergency Management)
Associate Professor of Engineering Management and International Affairs
George Washington University

09:45 AM - 10:30 AM
Session 2

Coronavirus and Other Disease Outbreaks in the 21st Century

Over the past two decades, three novel coronaviruses have emerged: SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2002, MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) in 2012 and now 2019-nCoV. A lot has changed since SARS in 2002: advances in technology have made a difference. Are Ontario’s emergency departments better prepared today and how do we make use of technologies available to us?

Session Objectives:
• Ontario’s experience with disease outbreaks
• The value of newer tools like eCTAS (an electronic triage application in use in Ontario) and evolving surveillance tools informed by AI
• Political factors in disease outbreak responses

Dr. Howard Ovens
Emergency Physician and Chief Medical Strategy Officer, Sinai Health System
Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto

10:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Morning Break

10:45 AM - 11:15 AM
Session 3

Code Grey

Session description to be announced.

11:15 AM - 11:20 AM
11:20 AM - 12:05 PM
Session 4A

Governance in Emergency Management: What Does This Mean and Where do I Start?

Session Objectives:
• Evolution of Emergency Management and recent experiences at The Ottawa Hospital
• How to fight passive indifference: pearls from the trenches
• Update on Emergency Management in Canada: developing a national framework and why this matters

Dr. Andrew Willmore
Medical Director, Emergency Management
The Ottawa Hospital
Associate Medical Director
Regional Paramedic Program for Eastern Ontario

11:20 AM - 12:20 PM
Session 4B

Exercise: Code Silver, Sanctuary Under Fire

Limited to the first 15 participants who pre-register for this session.
This workshop will include a simulation exercise and debrief.

Session Objectives:
• Demonstrate how to respond to an active shooter in the hospital
• Share how to train large institutions for an active shooter with high-fidelity low-cost simulation exercises

Dr. Julie Kim
Emergency Physician and Faculty Simulation Co-Coordinator, Division of Emergency Medicine, London Health Sciences Centre
Assistant Professor, Schulich School of Medicine, Western University

12:05 PM - 12:50 PM


12:50 PM - 01:35 PM
Session 5A

Emergency Preparedness for Rural Hospitals

Session Objectives:
To be announced.

Dr. Sean Moore
Emergency Physician from Kenora Ontario
Medical Director of Education, Ornge
Chief of Emergency Services, Lake of the Woods District Hospital

12:50 PM - 01:35 PM
Session 5B

Disasters and Privacy Regulations

In the light of rising mass casualty events, health care organizations are revisiting their Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) policies and procedures to determine exactly what information they are allowed to share and to whom they may share information: family and friends of the patient, media outlets, law enforcement, and health care partner organizations.

Session Objectives:
• Provide an overview of PHIPA legislation: origins and how it works
• Highlight what changes and how organizations stay compliant with PHIPA legislation during mass casualty events
• Provide a few case studies to highlight the importance of sharing information in a timely manner while staying compliant with PHIPA

Mary Gavel
Privacy Lead
CritiCall Ontario
Hamilton Health Sciences

01:35 PM - 01:40 PM
01:40 PM - 02:25 PM
Session 6A

Collaboration between Stakeholders: Street Festivals Don't Need to Always End in the Trauma Room

Towns and cities with universities across the country are seeing more and more “Fake Homecoming” parties (Foco). Some statistics from the 2018 Foco in London: 20,000 people, 134 charges, 57 hospitalized. In 2019 key emergency management stakeholders, including London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), came together six months prior to the anticipated date of the event, to proactively prepare.

While unified command within the Incident Management System (IMS) is not new, creating and working in multidisciplinary response teams on street level is still considered relatively unique. In this session, the speaker will share the knowledge they have acquired through their experience in preparing for 2019 FoCo.

Session Objectives:
• Demonstrate the importance of identifying and working with stakeholders from the initial planning stages when preparing for mass gathering events
• Highlight secondary risks that can negatively impact potential trauma patient care in a hospital’s response to a mass gathering event

Rosemary Thuss
Manager, Emergency Management
London Health Sciences Centre

01:40 PM - 02:25 PM
Session 6B

Disasters and Staff Trauma: Taken on Strength

In this session, the speaker shares his lived experience of a mental health journey with acute stress disorder that began with responding to and helping disaster survivors recover from, three of Canada’s largest and costliest disasters. The presentation also outlines support strategies for first responders and other disaster and emergency management professionals, including the latest research from the Centre for Studies on Human Stress.

Session Objectives:
• Improve the attendees’ ability to identify elements that make work or life events stressful
• Show how support fits into busy schedules and discuss ways attendees can ‘pre-set’ their support for future events

Brad Ison
Director of Training, Accreditation, and Standards, Alberta Emergency Management Agency
Owner, All Hazards Coaching

02:25 PM - 02:35 PM
Afternoon Break
02:35 PM - 03:35 PM
Session 7

Canada’s Largest Health-sector Mass Casualty Preparedness Exercise

GTA Unified took place on November 28, 2019: A functional, multi-agency, cross-jurisdictional, health-sector focused mass casualty emergency preparedness exercise designed to evaluate a health-system response to a complex mass casualty event within the Greater Toronto Area: 34 participating organizations, including 22 hospital sites.

In the first part of this session, the speakers will share their experience in designing, preparing and implementing the exercise.

Session Objectives:
• Share the experience of designing an exercise of this size
• Highlight the preparations leading up to the exercise
• The exercise organizer’s lessons learned and updates to their own emergency preparedness policies

In the second part of the session, volunteer delegates will highlight their own experiences in participating in the exercise.

Claudia Cocco
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Emergency Preparedness Hospital Lead
Toronto Central LHIN

Moira Hennebury
Emergency Preparedness Specialist
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Toronto Central LHIN

03:35 PM - 04:00 PM
Session 8

Audience Discussion: Lessons Learned Today and Thoughts for 2021

04:00 PM - 04:05 PM
Closing Remarks
04:05 PM - 05:00 PM

Beer and Wine Reception


What our past delegates have said.

Excellent, well-balanced agenda with current incident examples. Speakers were engaging and the hosts were excellent!
Janet MaHospital for Sick Children
Excellent sharing of experiences by like-minded professionals!
T.J. McDonaldHealth Sciences North
Spark Conferences are always engaging and informative. I always walk away with new strategies to implement at my organization.
Linda de LucaOrnge
Excellent topics covered with a great scope of areas covered for a diverse crowd.
Fiona StewartThe Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)
I loved the opportunity to network with others in the field of emergency preparedness, comparing notes and bouncing questions off others is something I need and lack the ability in my area. The professionals in this field are very few, making the drive worth it.
Dave GadouryChatham-Kent Health Alliance
These conferences are a wealth of international information and expertise that I am consistently amazed to receive in one day. Well organized, informative and extremely relevant for any healthcare setting – I’m already anticipating the next one!
Rania ShuggiCentre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

Register Your Interest

March 16 announcement: in light of recent news, the event is being offered as a webinar only. Register your interest below to receive more information.

Super Early Bird Prices

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Snacks throughout the day
  • Reception
  • Access to all conference presentations in electronic format
  • Access to presentations and live Q&A
  • Access to PowerPoint presentations where permission is given
Nurses and Paramedics
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Two coffee breaks
  • Reception
  • All presentations in electronic format
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Two coffee breaks
  • Reception
  • All presentations in electronic format

General Tickets are applicable to physicians, health care administrators (professionals holding titles such as Manager, Director, Vice President, Chief, President), government employees.

Nurses and Paramedics Tickets are applicable to Registered Nurses (RN), Paramedics, Nurse Practitioners (NP), and other allied professionals excluding those in administration roles (Managers, Directors, Vice Presidents, Chiefs, Presidents).

Student Tickets are applicable to students who are involved in full-time studies at the time of the conference. Please email a copy of your student id to info@sparkconferences.com upon completion of your registration.

Get Updates

Get email updates and exclusive deals for this conference.

Conference Ticket Giveaway

Enter anytime. Winners are selected on the first of February, March and April from all entries received throughout the year.
February 2020 winner: Charles Jones, Executive Assistant, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
March 2020 winner: John Klich, Superintendent Communications Centre, Toronto Paramedic Services
See our full terms and conditions for more details.


Webinar link will be provided to all registered delegates by email.


101 College Street
Toronto, ON
M5G 1L7
The Collaboration Centre
(MaRS conference facility)
MaRS South Tower


Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown Centre: Delegates can make bookings at the special MaRS rate on the Holiday Inn website, or via email reservations@hitorontodowntown.ca
by quoting “MaRS Discovery District.”

Chelsea Hotel Toronto: Bookings at the special MaRSDiscovery District rate can be made on the Chelsea Hotel website. Delegates can make reservations and request the special MaRS Discovery District rate by phone (1-800-CHELSEA) or email cstor.reservation@chelseatoronto.com.