Plenary Sessions

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Tuesday, March 12
8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
Marquis Ballroom

Opening Plenary Session
Tuesday, March 12
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Marquis Ballroom

A Community United: An Integrated Response to the Aurora Mass Shooting

On July 20, 2012 during a midnight showing at a local Aurora, Colorado movie theatre, a gunman opened fire as people tried to escape the theatre. Area hospitals surged to meet the needs of injured victims and behavioral health partners immediately responded to the needs of those affected and the surrounding community. The Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response staff was notified of the incident and the impact on the health and medical system in the jurisdiction and was formally activated as the ESF #8 (Health and Medical) Lead for the response through the City of Aurora Office of Emergency Management. TCHD supported hospitals by coordinating the use of 2-1-1 for patient tracking/family reunification, filled requests for public information staff, and hosted a conference call to ensure that each facility had a common operating picture for the event. TCHD staff worked closely with the Aurora Mental Health Center (AuMHC) in identifying behavioral health needs, staffing support centers, and connecting AuMHC with resources at the state level. TCHD also worked with the Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office to maintain situational awareness and confirm appropriate messaging to victims’ families.


John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH, CPH
Director, Clark County Public Health, Vancouver, WA
NACCHO President

Dr. Wiesman joined Clark County Public Health as its director in 2004. The department is located in Vancouver, WA, and serves 428,000 people.

John completed his doctor of public health dissertation in 2012 on succession planning in local health departments through the executive DrPH program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public. Prior to this he received his MPH in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University and his BA in biology from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, where he was born and raised.

John has worked in three other local public health departments in Washington and Connecticut (Public Health—Seattle & King County, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, and Greenwich Health Department). He started his public health career in Connecticut and was in its first group to be trained as HIV testers and counselors. He also worked at the University of Washington, School of Public Health as a project director on a back pain outcome assessment team grant.


Michele Askenazi, MPH
Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response
Tri-County Health Department
Greenwood Village, CO

Michele Askenazi is the Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response for Tri-County Health Department (TCHD). Ms. Askenazi has been in Emergency Preparedness and Response at TCHD for over 6 years. Michele has served in a lead role for many response related efforts and has established a Public Health Incident Management Team (PHIMT) for TCHD to enhance their depth and skills to provide management to all-hazards incidents, whether TCHD serves in a lead or support role. Further, she has been key to the development of the ESF #8 system in place for the TCHD jurisdiction of Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties, where TCHD serves as the ESF #8 lead if activated by their designated County Emergency Management.

Before coming to TCHD, Michele first served as a State Epidemiologist for the Michigan Department of Community Health and worked in HIV Surveillance. She then served first as a County Epidemiologist in Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention and then as a Research Analyst for the Bioterrorism Program at the Orange County Health Care Agency in Orange County, California. Michele graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and then attended the University of Texas - Health Sciences Center where she received her Master’s Degree in Public Health.

Sara Garrington, MA, MSW
Emergency Preparedness and Response Planner
Tri-County Health Department
Greenwood Village, CO

Sara Garrington works in the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response at the Tri-County Health Department as a regional emergency preparedness and response planner for three years. In this role, her primary areas of focus include ESF #8 planning and response, hospital preparedness, mass fatality planning, mass care, and exercise design. Prior to this position, Ms. Garrington worked in the City of Aurora Office of Emergency Management as the MMRS Program Coordinator with responsibility for the life and safety of first responders and the public for the first 48 hours of an all-hazards event in the ten-county Denver Metro Area. She is a member of the Jefferson County, Colorado, Incident Management Team (IMT) in the Planning Section. Ms. Garrington holds an MA in International Human Rights with a focus on developing nations post disaster and an MSW in Community Social Work with a certification in Trauma Response from the University of Denver.

Patrick Conroy
Manager – Support Services/Safety Officer
University of Colorado Hospital
Aurora, CO

Patrick Conroy has been involved in public safety and emergency response for over thirty years. He became a certified Paramedic in 1981 and worked in the private sector for the next thirteen years. Executive responsibilities included all disaster and emergency preparedness and response activities for the organization. In the mid-80’s he was appointed by the Governor of Colorado as the Emergency Medical Representative to the State Incident Command System Advisory Board and assisted the development of the first all-hazards Incident Command System training program for the state.

In 1996 Patrick entered the Fire Service as a Firefighter/Paramedic for the Glendale, Colorado Fire Department. He rose through the ranks, eventually attaining the position of fire marshal. In this position he also was responsible for all emergency management planning and preparedness activities for the City of Glendale. He served on numerous regional advisory boards and task forces, and was one of the charter members of the Denver Urban Area Security Initiative Working Group. He served as Chairman of the Training Subcommittee, and assisted in the development of a comprehensive regional homeland security training program. In 2005 he joined the Sheridan, Colorado Fire Department, where he served as a Shift Commander, Training Officer, and Emergency Manager.

In 2010 Patrick left the fire service and started to work at the University of Colorado Hospital, the only academic medical center in the region. As a Manager in the Support Services Department Patrick serves as the Safety Officer for the organization, which includes Environmental Health and Safety, Radiation Safety, and Fire/Life Safety. He is also responsible for management of all activities associated with the Emergency Preparedness program at UCH. On July 20th he served as the initial Hospital Incident Commander for the internal response to the Aurora shooting incident.

Patrick has achieved numerous certifications in his career. He graduated from Metropolitan State College in Denver with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Management, and the University of Colorado – Denver with a Master of Science in Management and Organization. He has been certified as a Paramedic since 1981 and holds numerous fire and hazardous materials certifications in Colorado. He has also achieved qualification as an all-hazards Incident Commander and Planning Section Chief at the Type 3 level. He serves as a Planning Section Chief on the Colorado Team 1 Incident Management Team, and has responded on local, regional and national level incidents. As an instructor and trainer Patrick has presented at conferences and seminars across the United States since 1990.

Kirsten Anderson, PsyD
Disaster Coordinator
Aurora Mental Health Center
Aurora, CO

Kirsten Anderson has been working at Aurora Mental Health Center since 2008. She began as a Child and Family Psychologist before adding the roles of Director of Quality Improvement and Disaster Coordinator. As Disaster Coordinator, Kirsten coordinated the behavioral health response to the Aurora Theater Shooting that occurred on July 20th. Aurora Mental Health Center’s disaster team members have provided behavioral health support at over 50 events since the shooting occurred.

Opening Remarks
Wednesday, March 13
8:15 AM – 8:30 AM
Marquis Ballroom

Plenary Session
Supported by the Center for Biosecurity at UPMC
Wednesday, March 13
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Marquis Ballroom

To Stay or Go? : What Sandy Taught Us about Hospital Evacuation and Healthcare Preparedness

On a Monday night in late October, first responders, hospital staff and public health officials worked throughout the night evacuating hundreds of patients down the darkened stairwells of battered facilities and into the driving rain and wind of Superstorm Sandy.  While these professionals don’t consider themselves heroes, countless lives were saved because of the many hours of training and preparation that went into preparing these facilities to respond to such disasters.  But this event raises many questions and may provide important lessons not only to the evacuated hospitals but also to the receiving facilities, insurers, and public health and emergency management agencies.  Patient surge response, distribution and tracking of transferred patients, onboarding of additional medical staff, and resolving professional credentialing and insurance issues were just a few of the complex issues that had to be faced. This plenary session panel consisting of key decision makers involved in the hospital evacuations in New York will discuss how critical decisions were made during this crisis, the impact of these decisions, and the lessons learned that will inform future healthcare preparedness.


Eric S. Toner, MD
Senior Associate
Center for Biosecurity, UPMC

Dr. Toner is a Senior Associate with the Center for Biosecurity of UPMC. He is an internist and emergency physician. His primary areas of interest are healthcare preparedness for catastrophic events, pandemic influenza response, and medical response to bioterrorism. He is a Managing Editor of the Clinicians’ BiosecurityNews, which provides clinical biosecurity reports to thousands of clinicians across the country and around the world. He is an Associate Editor of the journal Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, the leading peer-reviewed journal in this field.

Dr. Toner has authored numerous scholarly papers, commentaries and editorials on hospital and pandemic preparedness, and he has organized several meetings of national leaders on the topics of hospital preparedness, pandemic influenza, mass casualty disasters, biosecurity, biosurveillance and nuclear preparedness. He has spoken at numerous national and international conferences on a range of biosecurity topics and appeared on a number of high-profile national television and news features on pandemic flu and bioterrorism preparedness. He was the principal investigator of a multi-year project to evaluate the achievements of the HHS Hospital Preparedness Program and to propose a vision and strategy for healthcare preparedness for the future. He also led a project for HHS to improve healthcare situational awareness. Dr. Toner is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events.

Dr. Toner has been involved in hospital disaster planning since the mid-1980s. Prior to joining the Center, Dr. Toner was the Medical Director of Disaster Preparedness at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Maryland, where he practiced emergency medicine for 23 years. During this time, he also headed a large emergency medicine group practice, founded and directed one of the first Chest Pain Centers in Maryland, and co-founded and managed a large primary care group practice and an independent urgent care center. In 2003, he spearheaded the creation of a coalition of disaster preparedness personnel from the 5 Baltimore County hospitals, the Health Department, and the Office of Emergency Management.

Dr. Toner received his BA and MD degrees from the University of Virginia. He trained in internal medicine at the Medical College of Virginia.


Don Boyce
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
US Department of Health and Human Services

Don R. Boyce is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Human Services/Assistant Secretary Preparedness Response and Director of the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations. In this capacity, he oversees the federal government’s primary planning and response arm for public health and medical emergency support, known as Emergency Support Function # 8 of the National Response Framework. His office manages the HHS Continuity of Operations Program, the 24/7 Secretary’s Operations Center, the Regional Emergency Coordinator Group, the National Disaster Medical System, the Hospital Preparedness Program and the Department’s leadership of the Public Health and Medical Services Sector of the Homeland Security’s Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Program, and HHS recovery functions as they apply to Presidential Preparedness Directive 8 (PPD8).

Prior to his position with HHS, Mr. Boyce served as the Regional Administrator for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 1 at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In this role, he was responsible for all FEMA mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities in the six New England states comprising Region 1.

Prior to Federal service, Mr. Boyce served as Director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency where he was responsible for coordinating response operations across the Commonwealth during large scale natural and man-made disasters.

Previously, Mr. Boyce served as the Corporate Director of Emergency Management for Continuum Health Partners in New York City, where he worked with state and local officials on surge initiatives, emergency response plans, and bioterrorism initiatives. He was also the Board Advisor for the New York City Fire Department on 911 Ambulance Service in New York City.

Dan Hanfling, MD
Special Advisor, Emergency Preparedness and Response
Inova Health System

Dan Hanfling, MD, is special advisor to the Inova Health System in Falls Church, Virginia on matters related to emergency preparedness and disaster response. He is a board certified emergency physician practicing at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Northern Virginia’s Level I trauma center. He serves as an Operational Medical Director for air medical services and has responsibilities as a Medical Team Manager for Virginia Task Force One, a FEMA and USAID sanctioned international urban search and rescue team.

Dr. Hanfling is a founding member of the Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance, a model for hospital coalition development. He has testified before Congress on the issues of disaster preparedness, and lectures nationally and internationally on pre-hospital, hospital, and disaster related subjects. He currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Establishing Standards of Care in Disaster Events.

He serves on the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine Forum on Medical and Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events.

Michael J. Primeau
Director, Office of Health Emergency Preparedness
New York State Health Department

Michael is the Director of the Office of Health Emergency Preparedness at the New York State Department of Health. In this role, he is the liaison to the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the State Office of Emergency Management and the State Disaster Preparedness Commission. He is responsible for all operational requirements including the Department’s Incident Management System (IMS) and emergency response operations including the Department’s Emergency Operations Center. Michael lead the
Department’s emergency response efforts during Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, and Tropical
Strom Lee, the largest emergency responses since 9-11.

Christopher M. Mcstay, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
New York University Langone Medical Center

Chris McStay, MD is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine and is board certified in Emergency Medicine.  Dr. McStay graduated from the Weil Cornell Medical College and completed his Emergency Medicine residency at the NYU/Bellevue Hospital Center. He is currently the Chief of Emergency Services at Bellevue Hospital, which cares for over 120,000 patients annually.

Dr. McStay also completed a fellowship in Hospital Quality Management through the Greater New York Hospital Association/United Hospital Fund.  He serves on numerous hospital, regional, and national committees including those related to disaster preparedness and co-chairs the Health and Hospitals Corporation Emergency Department Directors Council, a system with approximately 1 million annual ED visits.  Through this work he as contributed to multiple local and corporate wide improvements in ED operations and care including an electronic ED patient tracking system with robust operational metrics reporting capability.  Dr. McStay has also contributed to hospital and ED disaster preparedness and been onsite during many incidents involving mass casualties, blackouts, nearby hospital closings, and both hurricanes Irene and Sandy.  After Sandy’s landfall, he participated in the evacuation of Bellevue Hospital and led the reopening of an EMS receiving Freestanding Emergency Department until the hospital fully reopened 100 days later.

Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH
Deputy Director
Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services
Houston, TX

 Since 2004, Dr. Shah has served as Deputy Director and Director of Disease Control & Clinical Prevention at Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (HCPHES) - the county health department in the third most populous county in the United States. Prior to joining HCPHES, he was an emergency department physician at Houston’s Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and Chief Medical Officer at the Galveston County Health District.

He earned his B.A. (philosophy) from Vanderbilt University; M.D. from the University of Toledo Health Science Center; before completing Internal Medicine residency, a Primary Care/General Medicine fellowship, and his M.P.H. (management & policy sciences) at The University of Texas Health Science Center. His focus areas include population health, wellness, & prevention; healthcare management & quality; global/refugee health; health equity; public discourse & community engagement; and emergency preparedness, including responses to Tropical Storm Allison; Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, & Ike; novel H1N1; and the devastating earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti. In addition to global work at the World Health Organization in Geneva, he has provided leadership through the American Public Health Association, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, and the National Association of County & City Health Officials. He remains active in clinical patient care, academic teaching, and serves as one of the local health authorities for Harris County.

Closing Remarks
Friday, March 15
10:30 AM – 10:45 AM
Marquis Ballroom

Closing Plenary Session
Friday, March 15
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Marquis Ballroom

Great Expectations: Maintaining Public Trust and Instilling Confidence Before, During, and After a Disaster

Our nation’s communities and citizens are at their most vulnerable during a disaster.   In crisis, the public looks to their government officials to take command, provide answers and restore normalcy.  Media and, increasingly, social media, play a vital role in influencing public expectations in response and recovery efforts.   But, are these expectations pragmatic and realistic? How can public health preparedness leaders and other partners shape public expectations prior to disaster and encourage personal responsibility?  How can they instill confidence in response and recovery efforts and assure the public that activities being undertaken are in the public’s best interest.   During this important session, leaders from Federal, state, local governments, media and humanitarian aid organizations will offer their unique perspectives on recent events, such as Hurricane Sandy  and reflect on how we can better understand the public’s expectations during disaster, how these expectations were met during Hurricane Sandy and lessons learned for the future.


Richard Besser, MD
Chief Health and Medical Editor
ABC News

Dr. Richard Besser, M.D., is ABC News’ Chief Health and Medical Editor. In this role, he provides medical analysis and commentary for all ABC News broadcasts and platforms, including “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Good Morning America,” and “Nightline.” In 2011, he led ABC’s global health coverage, “Be the Change: Save a Life,” reporting on health issues from seven different countries.

Dr. Besser came to ABC News in 2009 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he served as director of the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response. In that role, he was responsible for all of the CDC’s public health emergency preparedness and emergency response activities. He also served as Acting Director for the CDC and Acting Administrator for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry from January to June 2009, during which time he led the CDC’s response to the H1N1 influenza outbreak.                       

Dr. Besser began his career at the CDC in 1991 in the Epidemic Intelligence Service working on the epidemiology of food-borne diseases. Following this, beginning in 1993, he served for five years on the faculty of the University of California, San Diego as the pediatric residency director. While in San Diego he worked for the county health department on the control of pediatric tuberculosis. He returned to CDC in 1998, where he served in various capacities, including as epidemiology section chief in the Respiratory Diseases Branch; acting chief of the Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch in the National Center for Infectious Disease; and as the medical director of “Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work,” the CDC’s national campaign to promote appropriate antibiotic use in the community.

Dr. Besser received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Williams College and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a residency and chief residency in pediatrics at John Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.


Charles Donnell
Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Resilience Policy
National Security Staff

Chuck Donnell is the Senior Director for Resilience Policy on the National Security Staff.  His primary responsibility includes coordinating domestic, all-hazards, preparedness and response policy in support of Homeland Security issues.  He also manages several portfolios including National Preparedness Policy, Medical Preparedness Policy, National Security Communications, Homeland Security Grants Policy, National Exercises, Continuity, and Presidential Emergency Declarations under the Robert T. Stafford Act.  Prior to his present assignment, he served as the Senior Director for Response Policy on the National Security Staff.

Mr. Donnell served 25 years in the U.S. Army achieving the rank of Colonel before his retirement in 2012. He was commissioned through the Central Michigan University Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program in 1987 and served in a variety of Infantry and Civil Affairs assignments including disaster relief operations for the 2004 Southeast Asia Tsunami and 2010 earthquake in Haiti. His most recent assignments include service as the Chief, Joint Directorate of Military Support (JDOMS) on the Joint Staff where he coordinated Defense Support to Civil Authority (DSCA) activities and as the Organizational Integrator for Special Operations Forces on the Army G-3/5/7 staff.

Mr. Donnell is a graduate of the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the United States Army War College.

Nicole Lurie, MD, MSPH
Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response RADM, US Public Health Service
US Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Lurie is the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response serves as the Secretary’s principal advisor on matters related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. ASPR also coordinates interagency activities between HHS, other Federal departments, agencies, and offices, and State and local officials responsible for emergency preparedness and the protection of the civilian population from acts of bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. The mission of her office is to lead the nation in preventing, responding to and recovering from the adverse health effects of public health emergencies and disasters.

Prior to that, she was Senior Natural Scientist and the Paul O’ Neill Alcoa Professor of Health Policy at the RAND Corporation. There she directed RAND’s public health and preparedness work as well as RAND’s Center for Population Health and Health Disparities. She has previously served in federal government, as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health in the US Department of Health and Human Services; in state government, as Medical Advisor to the Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Health; and in academia, as Professor in the University of Minnesota Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Lurie has a long history in the health services research field, primarily in the areas of access to and quality of care, managed care, mental health, prevention, public health infrastructure and preparedness and health disparities.

Dr. Lurie attended college and medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, and completed her residency and MSPH at UCLA, where she was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar. She served as Senior Editor for Health Services Research and has served on editorial boards and as a reviewer for numerous journals. She has served on the council and was President of the Society of General Internal Medicine, and on the board of directors for AcademyHealth, and has served on multiple other national committees. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the AHSR Young Investigator Award, the Nellie Westerman Prize for Research in Ethics, the Heroine in Health Care Award, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine.

Finally, Dr. Lurie continues to practice clinical medicine in the health care safety net in Washington, DC.

Ali S. Khan, MD, MPH
Director, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response
US Assistant Surgeon General (retired)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

U.S. Assistant Surgeon General Ali  S. Khan (RET), MD, MPH, is the Director of the Office of Public Health  Preparedness and Response at the CDC. Dr. Khan is responsible for all of CDC’s public health  preparedness and response activities.

Dr. Khan joined CDC and the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in  1991 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer and over the past decades has  led and responded to numerous high profile domestic and international public  health emergencies, including hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, Ebola hemorrhagic  fever, monkeypox, avian influenza, Rift Valley fever, severe acute respiratory  syndrome (SARS), the Asian Tsunami (2004), and the initial public health  response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

In 1999, Dr. Khan served as one of the main architects of CDC’s public  health bioterrorism preparedness program, which upgraded local, state, and  national public health systems to detect and rapidly respond to bioterrorism.  As Deputy Director of this novel program he led the creation of the Critical  Agent list that was the basis for all biological terrorism preparedness,  published the first national public health preparedness plan with key focus  areas to improve local and state capacities, and initiated pilots of  syndrome-based surveillance. These preparedness efforts were crucial in  limiting the scope of the first anthrax attack during which he directed the CDC  operational response in Washington, D.C. More recently he has focused on public  health and methods to improve knowledge exchange, integration, and delivery.

Khan’s professional career has focused on emerging infectious diseases,  bioterrorism, and global health security. He maintains the Public Health  Matters blog and has been personally engaged in guinea worm and polio  eradication activities. While directing global infectious disease activities,  he designed the laboratory component of CDC’s field epidemiology and training  program. He also helped design and implement the CDC component of the $1.2 billion  5-year President’s Malaria Initiative. He co-founded a novel center at CDC to  champion a One Health strategy and ensure health security from a myriad of  zoonotic, vector-borne, and food-borne infectious diseases.

Dr. Khan received his medical degree from Downstate Medical Center in his hometown of Brooklyn, NY and completed a joint  residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Michigan,  Ann Arbor before joining CDC. He is a fellow of the American Academy of  Pediatrics and the American College of Physicians. He has a Masters of Public  Health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, where he now  holds an adjunct Professor appointment and co-directs the Emerging Infections  course.

Jerry DeFrancisco
President, Humanitarian Services
American Red Cross

Jerry DeFrancisco was appointed President, Humanitarian Services for the American Red Cross in September, 2008. Mr. DeFrancisco provides executive-level leadership and management oversight of operations for over 1500 local Red Cross locations across the country and around the world:  disaster preparedness, response and recovery; delivery of Health and Safety education and training; Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces; and International Services. In this capacity, he has led a dramatic transformation in the field structure and service delivery processes for Red Cross Humanitarian Services.  His career spans over 35 years in the telecommunications and management consulting industries, attaining senior leadership positions in a wide variety of assignments in all phases of general management.

Prior to joining the Red Cross, he was President of Beacon Professional Group and Ultrapro International, global consulting firms specializing in strategy, operations sustainability and performance improvement.. Prior to this, Jerry was a senior executive at AT&T, most recently as Vice President Business Innovation, Executive Vice President Broadband and Internet Services; and President and CEO of AT&T Alascom, a $350 million AT&T acquisition. Prior to these senior positions, Jerry held a variety of assignments with AT&T in corporate strategy, service delivery, customer service operations, and sales and marketing, where he was responsible for the planning and implementation of a broad range of technologies and services for the business, consumer and government markets.

Jerry holds a BA from Siena College and an Exec MBA (awarded with distinction) in Business Policy and Marketing from Pace University in New York, where he is also currently a Doctoral Candidate in the Lubin School of Business. He has completed the Professional Management Program at Harvard University, and the Senior Executive Management Program at Duke University. He has been an Adjunct Professor at Fairleigh Dickenson University and The University of Alaska, and a speaker and panelist in numerous industry and educational conferences and forums. Jerry is a US Army veteran, and has served on various non-profit boards, such as the Research Strategies Network, United Way, The March of Dimes, The Alaska Native Heritage Center and Special Olympics. Jerry is married and has two daughters.

Marisa Raphael
Deputy Commissioner, Office of Emergency Preparedness & Response
New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

Marisa Raphael is currently the Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response (OEPR) at the New York City Department of Health and
Mental Hygiene (DOHMH).  In this role, Ms. Raphael is responsible for advancing the Agency’s and City’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from health emergencies.  She directs and coordinates all programmatic, operational, administrative and contractual aspects of DOHMH’s
emergency preparedness and response activities, including overseeing the coordination of public health emergency preparedness planning for New York City’s health care system.

Prior to this position, Ms. Raphael was Assistant Commissioner of OEPR since 2006 and Deputy Director from 2004-2006.  In this capacity, she oversaw emergency planning, exercises and training, and countermeasures planning.  Prior to her positions in OEPR, Ms. Raphael served as Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Health at DOHMH.  Previous to coming to the Health Department, she worked at
Maimonides Medical Center as Assistant Director of Ambulatory Health Services.

Ms. Raphael received her Masters of Public Health from the University of Michigan. She also attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program.