2022 Agenda



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Day 1

Thursday, May 12, 2022

02:30 PM


03:00 PM

Opening Comments from the Chair

Grayson Cockett
Emergency Management Officer, Alberta Health Services
Co-Host, EPIC Podcast

03:15 PM

Session 1

NEW AND IMPORTANT UPDATE: 1 Year Later: Beirut, Lebanon
Mass Casualty Disaster Response and Victim Identification Process

Emergencies can sometimes take years to resolve. In this NEW and EXCLUSIVE update, we look at the continued efforts taking hold in the aftermath of the Beirut explosion. Delve into the ongoing struggles as we look at the expected confusion over victim identification and the reuniting of the surviving family members.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • The process for first responders to tag and account for all victims at the earliest stage
  • Considerations for hard to identify remains
  • Lessons learned in reuniting families with remains and survivors
  • Management of dead bodies after disasters
  • Forensic identification of human remains


Nagi Souaiby
MD, MPH, MHM, Emergency and Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, St Joseph University, Beirut – Lebanon
Head of the ED, ND Maritime Hospital, Byblos, ED coordinator, KMC, Ghazir – Lebanon
Chief Editor, MJEM, Mediterranean Journal of Emergency Medicine – A Green Journal
Director, National School for Emergency Care President, Lebanese Resuscitation Council

04:00 PM

Session 2

Cape Breton Flood Response: Lessons Learned & Best Practices in Responding to Catastrophic Flooding

In Cape Breton, several days of continuous rain led to washed out roads, cutting off whole communities, and impeding staff from getting to work, and ambulances from reaching the emergency room. With staff unable to reach the hospital, they needed to reroute along the island, turning a quick commute into a 4-hour drive each way. There were large scale power outages, and back up generators failed as well.

The response to these events were varied, incorporating all levels of government. First responders, hospitals, and the military were all involved, and all had a part to play.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • Gain a first-hand understanding of the situation on the ground and the challenges encountered
  • Understand how Cape Breton hospitals responded to the emergency and found ways to meet excess demand during a pandemic
  • How discussions with Parks Canada and Transportation Infrastructure Renewal led to changes in the way roads and culverts were built and installed to meet future extreme events

John MacIsaac
Emergency Preparedness Agency, NS Health

04:45 PM

Closing Remarks from the Chair

Grayson Cockett
Emergency Management Officer, Alberta Health Services
Co-Host, EPIC Podcast

05:00 PM

Networking Icebreaker

Day 2

Friday, May 13, 2022

09:00 AM


09:45 AM

Opening Comments from the Chair

Grayson Cockett
Emergency Management Officer, Alberta Health Services
Co-Host, EPIC Podcast

10:00 AM

Session 3

Assessing Crowd Control Plans to Avoid Mass Casualties

Large crowds are an everyday concern for first responders. Although Covid restrictions have eliminated many events, there are large crowds of protesters. And when the restrictions end, there will be a return to normal crowd activity.

World-renowned crowd expert G. Keith Still has been studying, teaching and consulting on large-scale events and crowd control for years.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • How to cast an eye over plans and raise flags early
  • What areas of concern should be addressed early
  • What lessons we can learn from AstroWorld, the Olympics, and recent protests

G. Keith Still
Founder, GK Still Crowd Risk Analysis Ltd
Visiting Professor of Crowd Science, University of Suffolk, Author, “Introduction to Crowd Science” and “Applied Crowd Science”

10:45 AM

Session 4A

Diagnosis of Climate Change: How Climate Change Increases Pressure on Hospitals

Faced with more extreme weather events, including record heat, cold, and storms, we can expect more disasters and higher emergency room visits; and in some cases, more severe illnesses such as asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and others.

With a view to how climate change will impact health care, including hospital emergency rooms, what can we expect and how should we respond in the near and long term?

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • What the trajectories and patterns of risk are with respect to climate change in Canada
  • What are the causes and uncertainties
  • How climate change will impact health and health care capacity among vulnerable patients
  • How hospitals should respond to climate change threats
  • What is the threat to the anticipated emergence of new tropics diseases?

David Etkin
Associate Professor of Disaster and Emergency Management, York University

Dr. Joe Vipond
MD, Emergency Physician, Rockyview General Hospital
President, CAPE Board

10:45 AM

Session 4B

Panel Discussion: Toward a More Sustainable Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNe) Hospital Program

There are significant gaps in the development of a sustainable approach to responding as first receivers for casualties exposed to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and/or explosive agents.

Our hospital preparedness capabilities across Canada should be refreshed with clear, evidence-based and effective guidance that not only addresses local risks but also is in close development with external hospital partners and responding agencies.

The build of a sustainable and robust CBRNe program must be consulted and developed by a wide stakeholder group including but not limited to emergency management professionals, clinical care representatives, and support services at all levels of administration.

Join the discussion with our panel of Sunnybrook’s CBRNe Sub-Committee Co-Chairs as we navigate these patient and staff safety initiatives in our current state of preparedness.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • What best practices do the literature and past exercises/incidents from the last 10 years tell us, and how can we strategize on lessons learned
  • How to plan discussion-based table-top exercises to validate draft processes and practice mock scenarios
  • Recommended methods to yield a strong program that takes into account Just In Time capabilities
  • Strategies for engaging stakeholder buy-in and demonstrating a community need to prepare and mitigate for this hazard


Helen Feng
Department of Emergency Preparedness, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Jeremy Kieffer
Paramedic Practice Coordinator, Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine, Advanced Care Paramedic, York Paramedic Services

Dr. Morgan Hillier
M.D., MSc, FRCPC, Emergency Medicine Physician; Trauma Team Leader, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Base Hospital Medical Director, Toronto Paramedic Services, Interim Medical Director, Toronto Fire Services

10:45 AM

Session 4C

Mental Health and Emergency Management: Response and Awareness Strategies

Emergency managers and first responders witness higher volumes of traumatic events, and are often working in these events for long periods of time. Consequently, we are seeing high incidents of stress, PTSD, and co-morbities among emergency managers and first responders.

There are services and help available, but for many, there is a lack of awareness of those services, and also a propensitiy to discount the need for help.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • Why first responders may experience greater trauma, and how can it affect them
  • Why emergency managers and first responders would not see mental health services
  • How to increase awareness of PTSD and other trauma in coworkers – and yourself
  • How to address the stigma of seeking help
  • What are the long term implications of not seeking help when needed


Donna Ferguson
Clinical Psychologist, Researcher, Work Stress and Health Program, CAMH

Maegan McConnell
Mental Health Specialist, Red Cross

11:30 AM

Session 5

Case Study: Sick Kids
Building More Efficient Systems to Clear Codes During Emergencies

When hospitals initiate a code yellow (missing patient), or black (bomb threat), staff are required to be vigilant, aware and to search, but when they are ready to report their area is all clear, there is often a bottleneck on the main phone lines for the command centre. This leads to staff calling Locating and Protection Services to report which creates a bottleneck on their phone lines which can prohibit reporting of sightings or suspicious packages found. Ultimately, this prolongs the code and hampers a return to normal operations.

To manage this ongoing challenge, Sicks Kids designed their own in-house solution with a digital PowerApps Reporting Tool. With several test runs, and more to come, there has been tremendous success in the early stages.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • Why there was a need for a digital way to clear the code faster
  • How they designed their own In house code PowerApps app – and how adaptable it can be to other hospitals
  • How and why they got it to this stage, and the planning involved
  • Take part in a live demonstration of the app and it’s features and benefits

Andrea McCormick
RN, MN Senior Manager, Quality Management and Emergency Preparedness, SickKids

Katherine Kung Cheung
RN. MN, Quality Improvement Specialist for Quality Management & Clinical Practice & Quality Lead, SickKids

12:15 PM


01:00 PM

Session 6

Operation Laser: Lessons Learned from the Military’s Operational Response in LTC Homes During Covid 19

During the first waves of Covid 19, there were large outbreaks in Long Term Care facilities across the country. The situation became so dire, the Ontario Government requested the help of the Canadian Armed Forces.

With the request for assistance from civilian authorities, the Military responders immediately began the operational planning.

This session will discuss the planning and operational phase of Operation Laser, and provide insights into establishing an event-specific operational command and execution.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • Lessons learned in planning and staging an urgent and large-scale operation specific to the context
  • How the Military responders adapted their operation based on the situation on the ground
  • Post-operation lessons learned and how to improve responses within health care settings

Colonel Jason Guiney
Former Chief of Staff
4 Canadian Division, Operation Laser
National Security Programme, Canadian Forces College

Lieutenant-Colonel James Stocker
Task Force Commander

01:45 PM

Session 7A

Code Rainbow: Rethinking Emergency Response Codes and the Move to All-Hazards Planning

Join EPIC Podcast Host and Healthcare Disaster Manager Grayson Cockett for a collaborative discussion on the merits and downfalls of the Emergency Response Colour Codes currently used within hospitals across Canada.

We will start with a survey, a review of the current state and need for change.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • Why do we use them?
  • Where do they come from?
  • Do they fit into an ‘All Hazards’ planning methodology?
  • And is there a better option?

Grayson Cockett
Emergency Management Officer, Alberta Health Services
Co-Host, EPIC Podcast

Shannan Saunders
Site Director, Emergency Management, Mount Sinai Morningside

01:45 PM

Session 7B

Risk Management in Health Care: Best Practices, Strategies, and Remaining Relevant

Risk Management practices require a simplified approach for people operating in different areas of healthcare. Many do not speak and breathe risk management in their day-to-day job, yet they are still accountable for the risks they should manage.

Key Discussion Topics Include:

  • Manage risk through 3 pillars: Keep it Simple, Be Realistic, Make it Happen
  • Understand the nuances behind managing risk and managing performance
  • Adopt a provincial and regional risk management integration approach
  • Be aware of the myriad risks from supply chain, PPE, Health Order for auditing eligibility records, whistleblower allegations, etc.
  • Staying relevant during the crisis

Ricardo Almosnino
CPA, CISA, CRISC, CRMA, Regional Director, Risk & Audit Services, Shared Health Manitoba

01:45 PM

Session 7C

Best Practices in Building and Implementing Evidence-Driven Performance Indicators

Performance measurement allows organizations to assess their progress in achieving goals and desired outcomes, demonstrate accountability and facilitate quality improvement. Measuring the performance of a health care emergency management program, however, is inherently challenging.

Unlike clinical care outcomes that are often seen immediately after medical interventions, the realization of emergency preparedness efforts only occurs in the aftermath of infrequent emergency and disaster events that unfold in complex, unpredictable ways.

Despite the challenges inherent to performance measurement in this area, organizations must be accountable for costly emergency management programs and be able to demonstrate outcomes achieved from investment in emergency preparedness.

This session presents the research findings and practical experience of the Alberta Health Services (AHS) Emergency/Disaster Management (E/DM) program in developing and refining a performance measurement framework for emergency and disaster preparedness and response.

Key Discussion Topics Include:

  • Why measure performance and what are the key criteria for developing an evidence-driven emergency preparedness measurement system
  • What are we measuring (desired outcomes), how can they be measured, and what are the practical considerations for measuring performance in emergency management
  • Using performance data to demonstrate effectiveness and justify budgets and capital expenses

Bethany Moore
MPA, CEM, (She, Her, Hers), Senior Consultant, Emergency/Disaster Management, Alberta Health Services

02:30 PM


02:45 PM

Session 8A

Engaging Early and Often with Indigenous and Rural Communities Before Emergencies Happen

Engaging and collaborating with Indigenous and Rural Communities before emergencies happen is critical to the safety of first responders, communities, and individuals in distress. This presentation will discuss challenges that rural First Responders may experience when serving populations outside of urban areas and why small acts of feasible community engagement activities can lead to enhanced medical and response outcomes for all parties.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • Building collaborative and structured community engagement initiatives
  • Develop partnerships that help facilitate emergency preparedness activities
  • How to respond quickly and efficiently in various scenarios

Ken Letander
Indigenous Engagement Advisor (National), SNC-Lavalin

02:45 PM

Session 8B

Advancing Hospital Emergency Preparedness: Coordination and Integration with a Multi-Level Approach

While hospital emergency management is in its infancy, there are very successful and accomplished emergency managers in health care settings who have so much knowledge to share with the larger disaster/emergency management field. At the systems-level, there can be better coordination and continuity of practice if similar guidelines and practices are applied in the healthcare setting and the rest of the EM community.

We know that hospitals respond to and can fare through emergencies well, but there is also a known asymmetry between hospitals, healthcare and the EM/IMS doctrine. The last few years has demonstrated a need to prepare for disasters and catastrophes with a coordinated, whole-of-society approach with our partners.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • Why emergency mangers need to take systems-level concepts and doctrines, including all hazard approach
  • How to better integrate hospitals into the overall community/provincial EM critical infrastructure through knowledge sharing
  • That hospitals can plan and prepare for emergencies with their EM peers and partners; they are part of a system that involves the community EM landscape as well
  • How to take full advantage of the academic literature and lessons learned across the entire field of knowledge

Simon Wells
Founder & Principal, Canadian Journal of Emergency Management

03:15 PM

Session 9

Creating a Canadian Team Dedicated to Furthering Health Care Emergency Preparedness

Although there are associations and working groups of emergency managers, there are none that are specific to the challenges health care emergency managers face.

With differing coding systems and communications challenges, there are many ways a cohesive member-based association could move the community forward in a more deliberate way.

We will lead a discussion on whether there is a need for a formal Canadian Healthcare Emergency Management Association. CHEPA (our current group) is a loose, grassroots movement having informal conversations of whether it would be beneficial to formally become a recognized association.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • The goals of the association and where best to focus its energy
  • Ways we can establish best practices and develop certification criteria unique to our industry
  • If an association were to be formed, how could it gain traction

Kassondra Stockman
MFS, CBCP, Emergency Preparedness Advisor, Halton Healthcare

Andrew Moull
MA, MDEM, (he/him), Specialist, Emergency and Disaster Management, Hamilton Health Sciences

09:00 PM

Closing Remarks from the Chair

Grayson Cockett
Emergency Management Officer, Alberta Health Services
Co-Host, EPIC Podcast

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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