2021 Agenda



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Day 1

May 13, 2021

09:00 AM

Log In

09:20 AM

Opening Remarks

Moira Hennebury
Emergency Preparedness Specialist
Sunnybrook Health Science Centre & Ontario Health (Toronto Region)

Dr. Daniel Kollek
Assistant Clinical Professor Emergency Medicine, McMaster University
Chair Disaster Committee, Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians
Director, Centre for Excellence in Emergency Preparedness

09:30 AM

Session 1

Opening Keynote: Beirut Port Explosion Emergency Response

The Beirut Port Explosion, on August 4, 2020, is the largest non-nuclear explosion worldwide. Even the most prepared health care system and well-thought emergency plan response would have failed to address a disaster of this magnitude.
In this presentation, the speaker will describe the emergency response on multiple levels: governmental, institutional and individual, revealing the challenges of medical management, triage difficulties, human resources mobilization, logistical difficulties such as documentation, identification, and the use of PPEs in the midst of a pandemic.


  • Recognize the disaster cycle
  • Determine general principles of the short-term massive mass casualty management (Beirut Blast) versus long term crisis management (Covid-19)
  • Examine the challenges faced in a large and massive mass casualty event
  • Summarize what to expect from international aid when needed

Dr. Nagi Souaiby
Head, Emergency Department
Notre Dame Maritime Hospital
Byblos, Lebanon

10:15 AM

Session 2

Open Mic & Networking

This 20-minute session is a networking event that will provide participants with the chance to meet virtually to engage in a guided conversation.

10:40 AM

Session 3A

Responding to a Code Orange in the Midst of a COVID-19 Outbreak

Since the beginning of the pandemic, health care workers have been dubbed as ‘heroes without capes’. Regardless the circumstance, health care workers show up to work and care for patients and their families. London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) responded to the partial collapse of a four-storey condominium under construction on December 11, 2020, in the midst of a large outbreak situation in the organization during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join our presentation to hear how LHSC responded to the Code Orange and lessons learned.


  • Examine lessons learned responding to a partial building collapse
  • Identify how a Code Orange response adapts to process changes caused by COVID-19
  • Mesaure how staff wellness plays an integral role in both acute emergencies such as a Code Orange and prolonged emergencies such as a pandemic


Dr. Christie MacDonald
Interim Citywide Site Chief, Emergency Medicine
London Health Sciences Centre

Susan Kriening
Manager, Southwest Ontario Regional Base Hospital Program
London Health Sciences Centre

Alison Armstrong
Clinical Manager, Regional Trauma Program & NSQIP
London Health Sciences Centre

Rosemary Thuss
Manager, Emergency Management
London Health Sciences Centre

10:40 AM

Session 3B

Optimizing Hospital Preparedness for Mass Casualty Incidents During a Pandemic

The last year has shown us how important being prepared is. Health care workers have been keeping up with an overwhelming depletion of resources, but being proactive in their planning allowed them to make the best out of a difficult situation.


  • Discuss the additional challenges of MCI response related to the pandemic
  • Identify elements of the hospital MCI plan that need adjustment during the pandemic


Dr. Valérie Homier
Emergency Physician & Medical Co-Director, Emergency Preparedness
McGill University Health Centre
Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
McGill University

11:25 AM

Wellness Break

11:35 AM

Session 4

Preparing a Two-Site Hospital Model

Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital is the first net new hospital to be built in Ontario in more than 30 years and the first smart hospital in Canada. Speakers will explore what actions and activities were taken, related to emergency preparedness to prepare for the Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital two-site model. This session will speak to evaluating preparedness, reaching out to internal and external partners, planning and exercising, and lessons learned.


  • Discuss how a two-site hospital model can be a substantial solution to ending hallway medicine
  • Examine how Mackenzie Health pivoted their care as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

Diane Carmichael
Manager, Emergency Preparedness
Mackenzie Health

Mary Kay Tse
Patient Care Coordinator, Patient Flow
Mackenzie Health

Madeline Logan-Jeanbaptiste
Manager of Patient Flow and NRT
Mackenzie Health

Shachi Christian
Patient Care Coordinator
Mackenzie Health

12:20 PM


12:50 PM

Session 5A

Applying Theoretical Tools to Practical Situations

Theoretical tools have their significance in what we learn, and those tools lead our learning in practical situations. Emergency response professionals need preparation, simulations, and opportunities for mock scenarios to make sure when an emergency happens, they not only have theory to back them up but also hands-on practice. In this session, speakers will illustrate how training can translate to practical policies.


  • Identify what preparation and training is needed in order to be proactive
  • Determine what training the health care industry needs to keep up to date on emergency plans

Renee Blomme
Director, Privacy and Risk
Scarborough Health Network

Elyse Hosein
Emergency Preparedness Specialist, Privacy & Risk Management Department
Scarborough Health Network

12:50 PM

Session 5B

Team Lavender: Time for Change

Team Lavender is a coordinated response team that addresses the emotional, spiritual and psychological health and wellness of health care staff and physicians following trauma, critical incidents, and accumulated stress, including the response of Covid-19. Team Lavender is evidence-based, and in this session, the speaker will demonstrate the impact of Team Lavender on the health and wellness of health care workers at Valley Regional Hospital.


  • Summarize what Team Lavender is and how it positivity impacts staff
  • Compare Team Lavender before and during Covid-19

Rev. Dr. Debra Orton
Coordinating Chaplain
Valley Regional Hospital, Western Zone, Nova Scotia Health Authority

01:35 PM

Session 6

Social Determinants of Health and the Vaccine Rollout

The health care system must address gaps and create trust in marginalized communities. Support must be given to allow for better health equality for all Canadians. In this session, speakers will discuss why there is mistrust in the health care system and engage in how, moving forward, trust can be rebuilt.


  • Determine the best way to administer public information on vaccines and combat disinformation
  • Identify ways through creating trust in which this can be addressed in a respectful and engaging manner

Dr. Modupe Tunde-Byass
Black Physicians of Canada

Dr. Sarah Minwanimad Funnell
Associate Medical Officer of Health, Ottawa Public Health
Director of Indigenous Health, Department of Family Medicine, Queen’s University

Cheryl Prescod
Executive Director
Black Creek Community Health Centre

Day 2

May 14, 2021

09:10 AM

Log In

09:25 AM

Opening Remarks

Sudha Kutty
Vice President, Strategy & External Relations
Humber River Hospital

Paul Bullock
Senior Sales Executive

09:30 AM

Session 7

The New Normal: Emergency Preparedness Now and In the Future

Hospitals are taking a more proactive approach to managing a variety of critical events, applying lessons learned from COVID-19 to reshape their path forward and the often complex and diverse set of risks that can occur daily.

In this panel discussion, Paul Sarnese, Assistant Vice President Safety, Security and Emergency Management at Virtua Health and Ehren Ngo, Emergency Operations Manager at Loma Linda University Health, will examine innovative emergency preparedness and response best practices that are being applied now and will continue to have an impact beyond COVID-19.


  • Reinforce the importance of emergency preparedness in your hospital
  • Creating a more collaborative, unified critical events response
  • Anticipating what’s next, preparing for the future

Paul Sarnese
Assistant Vice President Safety, Security and Emergency Management
Virtua Health

Ehren B. Ngo
Emergency Operations Manager, Environmental Health & Safety
Loma Linda University Health

10:20 AM

Session 8A

UC San Diego Health’s Command Center

UC San Diego Health was preparing for a potential pandemic in late December 2019. Upon receiving word that the first planes of evacuees from China were arriving in San Diego, the health system felt prepared. The County and Federal government agencies soon advised they would be transferring the first COVID-19 positive patients and all patients under investigation to UC San Diego Health.

UC San Diego Health activated the Hospital Incident Management Team and maintained an operational Hospital Command Center for 250 days. During this time, they were able to ensure the safety, security, and privacy of all patients and team members. Emergency management, along with senior leaders expanded the Planning Section, Operations Section, and Ambulatory Command Center (only recently implemented), to meet the many objectives set forth, some with very short deadlines.

Each incident brings about its own challenges and during this presentation, the speaker will discuss why it is essential to think outside the box.


  • Discuss the use of Task forces in the hospital command center
  • Leverage the use of Area Command for large scale incidents

David I. Blacksberg
MPH Supervisor, Emergency Management/Business Continuity
University of California San Diego Health

10:20 AM

Session 8B

Operation Remote Immunity

On December 22 2020, Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force assigned Ornge operational oversight responsibilities for the distribution and vaccination of approximately 16,000 residents in 31 isolated communities in Northern Ontario. Termed “Operation Remote Immunity”, Ornge led this important initiative to ensure all community members who wanted to receive a COVID-19 vaccine had the ability to do so in their own community. This session will explain the steps taken to prepare, plan, and implement one of the most challenging operations Ornge has ever undertaken as the Air Ambulance Provider in the Province of Ontario.


  • Learn about who Ornge is, their mission, vision and values
  • Evaluate Operation Remote Immunity, the planning, implementation, and challenges identified during the mission
  • Measure lessons learned during the operation and next steps


Wade Durham
Chief Operating Officer

11:05 AM

Wellness Break

11:15 AM

Session 9

Incident Management/Command Systems in Canadian Health Care

Incident Management and Command Systems across Canada differ based on province and territory, but how can it work best for Emergency Preparedness across Canada and what can we learn from other systems? In this session, the panelists will provide an overview of how each of their health jurisdictions use Incident Management/Command Systems and discuss lessons learned from implementation.


  • Measure what is needed to roll out ideal IM/CS structures in different provinces and territories
  • Recognize lessons that have been learned within the past year, what gaps are there and how can those be overcome?


Kassondra Stockman
Emergency Preparedness Advisor
Halton Healthcare

Grayson Cockett
Emergency Management Officer
Alberta Health Services

Pascal Rodier
Emergency Preparedness Manager, Projects and Planning
Nova Scotia Health Authority

12:00 PM


12:30 PM

Session 10

Open Mic & Networking

This 20-minute session is a networking event that will provide participants with the chance to meet virtually to engage in a guided conversation.

12:50 PM

Session 11

Building a Shared Vision: How to Attain Buy-in

Emergency preparedness in health care, even in the midst of a pandemic, can be a hard sell. With recognition that most health care facilities have just one or few dedicated staff members to conduct this work for a sector that is continuously evolving in a significant risk landscape; this session will share strategies to build partnerships, expand networks and ultimately, explain how to get the shared vision you need to the get buy-in that will support it.

By the end of this session, delegates will have a scalable framework to achieve buy-in that they can add to their toolbox, understand the criticality of data and that a clear vision can be more powerful than a few extra hands.


  • Gain a scalable framework to add to your professional toolbox and effectively achieve buy-in in your professional practice
  • Appreciate the criticality of data and that a clear vision can be more powerful than a few extra hands

Claudia Cocco
Manager of Emergency Preparedness
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Ongoing Call for

This is your opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with other health care professionals.

Please email us at info@sparkconferences.com to receive more information.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

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