Session Descriptions for the 2019 Northwest Colorado Healthcare All-Hazards Conference

Information will be updated as it is made available

Monday, May 6, 2019

11:00 am - 1:00 pm



Last Stand in Santa Rosa: Kaiser Hospital Evacuation during the Tubbs Wildfire

Joshua B. Weil, MD, FACEP

In the early morning of October 9th, 2017 the Tubbs wildfire swept 17 miles from Calistoga, CA to within 200 yards of Kaiser Hospital Santa Rosa in only 5 hours.  The Tubbs fire was one of the most destructive in U.S. history, taking out more than 5000 structures, mostly homes.  Dr. Joshua Weil, an Emergency Physician, was on duty that night and assumed the role of Incident Commander in the hospital as his own home was being consumed and his family was escaping through flames.  When the Fire Commander announced that his team was making “a last stand” the decision was made to evacuate 122 patients from the hospital and Emergency Department.  Hear about how the events unfolded and the lessons learned that night that might help you in planning for your hospital when the most unexpected happens.

Dr. Weil is a practicing Emergency Physician at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Rosa where he also serves as Assistant Physician-in-Chief for Hospital Operations.  He grew up in Northern California and completed his B.A. degree at the University of California, San Diego, then received his medical degree from the University of Illinois, Chicago.  He returned to California to complete his residency training in Emergency Medicine at UC Davis Medical Center and took a position at Kaiser in 1998.  He served as Chief of the Emergency Department for over 11 years and also served as Chair of the Chiefs of Emergency Medicine for Northern California from 2007-2011 until assuming the APIC role.  A strong interest in volunteerism and disaster medicine has taken him to Sri Lanka following the tsunami, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, Haiti to respond to the earthquake, and the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.  Locally he has served on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross Sonoma/Lake/Mendocino Chapter since 2011 and the Board of Directors for the Ceres Project since 2014 and is the Immediate Past President of the Ceres Board.   He has been a regular volunteer at the Jewish Community Free Clinic for almost 15 years and in 2014 assumed the role of Medical Director there.  He has also served as “team physician” for the Piner High School and Maria Carrillo High School football teams for over a decade.

 Dr. Weil lives in Santa Rosa with his wife, 3 children (ages 23, 21, and 16), and many pets.  He does his best to make time for San Francisco Giants games and his passion for golf.  He has competed in endurance triathlon and enjoys lots of travel.

1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

general session


Coastal Valleys EMS Agency & The Northern California Fires EMS Response

Jen Banks and Carly Sullivan

Our presentation provides an overview of our LEMSA response and challenges to our 2017 wildfires. Our efforts were in coordination with the Sonoma County Healthcare Coalition, Region MHOAC System and California State EMS Authority. We focus on evacuations, communications, transportation assets, sheltering, fatalities, patient tracking and recovery. 

Jen Banks has served in the field of Emergency Medical Services for 18 years. In September 2013 she became the EMS Coordinator for Coastal Valleys EMS Agency, the regulatory oversight entity for local EMS Systems in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties in California. Prior to Coastal Valleys, she worked in both rural and urban populations as an EMT/Paramedic and as the EMT/Paramedic Program Director at Mendocino College. Jen has participated in many large scale disasters including the 2013 Asiana Airbus crash at SFO, the 2014 Napa County 6.0 Earthquake, the 2015 Valley Fire, the 2017 Tubbs Fire and most recently the 2018 Mendocino Complex Fire. She is graduate of Humboldt State University with a baccalaureate in Communications & Journalism with an emphasis in News Editorial.

Carly Sullivan is an Advanced Life Support Coordinator for Coastal Valleys EMS agency since January 2015.  Carly started her career in EMS in 2006, and became a paramedic in 2008 serving both rural and urban communities.  Since joining CVEMSA, Carly has functioned as the EMS Disaster Coordinator developing preparedness plans, organizing trainings and exercises, and implementing the new alerting and communication system.  Carly was part of the 2017 North Bay Fires Response and, most recently, the 2018 Mendocino Complex Fire. Carly completed her bachelor’s degree at California State University, San Jose in Health Science with a concentration in Health Professions and her Associates of Science in Paramedics at Santa Rosa Junior College.

3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

General Session


Paonia Water Outage Panel Presentation

KC Kay, Debbie Kimball, Ken Knight, Ken Nordstrom, Kris Stewart, Charles Stewart, and Tracy Trulove

Nanci Quintana, Moderator

Join us for a panel discussion and review of what worked, what didn't and areas of improvement in the response to the 2019 Paonia Water Supply Issue that took place in February/March 2019 in Paonia, CO. Panelists from Delta County Emergency Management, Delta County Public Health, CDPHE Water Quality, Public Information, Paonia Town administration and Volunteer Coordination will present on their roles, how the incident unfolded and the response to the incident which at its peak had over 1,000 residents without running water for almost two weeks.

Kenneth Knight – 30 years in Public Service with most of the last 24 years in Public Management.  2+years as Paonia Town Administrator.  1994 achieved a Masters in Public Administration. 

Kenneth (Ken) Nordstrom is a Colorado native born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He graduated from Western State College, Gunnison, Colorado and holds a B.A., Biology. He is a second generation Registered Environmental Health Specialist with the National Environmental Health Association and has 46 years experience working as a generalist in all disciplines of Environmental Health. He has been the Environmental Health Director of the Delta County Health Department since its founding in 1982 and prior to that he worked as an Environmental Health Specialist for Chaffee County Environmental Health and Weld County Environmental Health. He received the Colorado Environmental Health Association’s Milton M. Miller Award in 2011 for Distinguished Service in Advancing the Environmental Health Profession. 

Charles Stewart is a fourth generation Colorado native. He has a BA and JD from the University of Colorado, and has practiced law in Colorado for thirty four years. Twenty five years ago his wife and their two daughters moved to Paonia. I was elected to the Paonia Board of Trustees in 2014 and elected mayor in 2016.

Kris Stewart is the Delta County Emergency Management Coordinator and has worked for the Delta County Sheriff's Office for 7.5 years.  Kris grew up in Delta County, graduated from Hotchkiss High School then attended and graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Denver, with an Associate's and Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and Leadership Studies. 

Kris joined the Delta County Sheriff's Office in August 2011 and served four (4) years as a patrol deputy where he was a field training officer and became the Sheriff's Office lead CPR/First Aid instructor. In 2015 he was promoted to Investigations where he investigated serious property and persons crimes including sexual assaults, homicides and other cases.  Kris was appointed the Sheriff's Office Evidence Custodian during that time and lead an overhaul of the Evidence division from 2016 to 2018. In November 2018, Kris was selected as the Emergency Management Coordinator and Evidence Manager and he serves as the Public Information Officer for the Sheriff's Office. 


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Panel Session

No PowerPoint presentation was used.

Strategies for Inclusive Planning and Response

Luke Adams, Sadie Martinez, and Aimee Voth Siebert

Session Description Coming Soon

Luke Adams is a former army brat, his family moved to Colorado Springs when he was a young kid. He is an alum of Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind and Rochester Institute of Technology, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice. As the first deaf contestant and three-time competitor on the globetrotting travel show, The Amazing Race, he teamed up with his mother, Margie, and made it to the finale, finishing in third place in the first appearance on the show. Luke and Margie went on to compete in two more All-Star seasons of The Amazing Race. While faced with numerous barriers as a deaf person, he learned how to persevere by self-advocating for solutions. 

After working at the New Mexico Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and assistive technology agencies in Anchorage, Alaska, Luke came back to his home state, Colorado, in 2017 and began employment with the Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind (CCDHHDB). Luke provides training and consultation on topics such as effective communication, linguistic competencies, law and regulations, effective access to programs and services, and more for Colorado stakeholders, including state and local governmental agencies, community-based organizations and places of public accommodations. 

Luke can be reached at or 720-949-7482 if you need resources related to hard of hearing or assistance.

"A connected community is a resilient community." This is Aimee's abiding lesson from her 7 years working on Behavioral Health and Access & Functional Needs Inclusion in CDPHE's Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response (OEPR). Aimee became fascinated with community resilience while writing newspaper articles about Greensburg, KS, where an EF5 tornado in 2005 forced the community to build back 90% of their town. She completed her Masters in International Disaster Psychology at the University of Denver in 2012 to learn more about what allows communities to thrive after disasters. 

 Three days after graduating, Aimee spent her first full-time day of work with OEPR responding to Larimer County's High Park Fire at the State Emergency Operation Center. Since that first “trial by fire," she has supported Colorado responses to the 2012, 2013, and 2018 Wildfire Seasons, the Aurora Theater Shooting, the September 2013 floods, and the Planned Parenthood Shooting in November 2015. 

Aimee draws inspiration from communities outside of Colorado too. She deployed to the 2014-2015 Ebola Outbreak in Sierra Leone as a Health Promotion Specialist, and led a disaster mental health team to support Puerto Rico's response to Hurricane Maria in October 2017. A compulsive adventurer, Aimee will almost always say yes to experiencing something new. Her defaults include traveling with her spouse Michael, reading voraciously, and indulging in nights of singing, theater, and Dungeons & Dragons. But seriously, invite her to anything. Aimee is a volunteer and board member of the Rocky Mountain Medical Reserve Corps. She loves the opportunity to hang out with different Colorado communities during trainings, exercises, and a variety of community events. During disasters and day-to-day, Aimee believes in the importance of keeping the well-being and empowerment of Colorado’s whole community front and center. 

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Breakout Session

Determining the Role of the Coalition in the Northwest Region

Christopher Montera and Lauren Smith

Session Description Coming Soon

Christopher Montera, BS, NR-P, CP-C

 CEO, Eagle County Paramedic Services

Christopher Montera, BS, NR – P, CP-C is the CEO at Eagle County Health Service District a/k/a Eagle County Paramedic Services. His career has been dedicated to service with more than 32 years of experience in Paramedic Services, Public Health, and the Fire Service. He has received numerous awards for his service and was named one of the top 10 EMS Innovators of the Year in 2010 by the Journal of Emergency Medical Services and PhysioControl. Chris is the Treasurer of the Emergency Medical Services Association of Colorado, Central Mountains RETAC, and was the EMS Data Specialist for Western Regional Emergency Trauma Advisory Council under contract to serve the State of Colorado. Chris is in the final months of his Masters in Health Leadership to help innovate healthcare for the future.

Lauren Smith, CHEP, CHPCP

Planning Specialist

Lauren Smith has been a Planning Specialist with All Clear since January 2019. She has a bachelor's Degree in English and Philosophy from Muskingum University and a Master's Degree in Gerontology from Miami University of Ohio. She is a licensed nursing home administrator in Colorado and Oregon and has a background in healthcare emergency management and business continuity planning. Lauren has been involved in planning and facilitating full scale exercises for long term care and skilled nursing facilities, along with ensuring compliance with state and federal emergency management regulations. Most recently, she served as the Emergency Management Continuity Program Manager for SCL Health and provided support in developing a continuity program, along with standardizing training and exercise documents. Lauren is a Certified Healthcare Provider Continuity Professional (CHPCP), Certified Healthcare Emergency Professional (CHEP) and has completed the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP). She is married with three children and loves doing anything that involves the outdoors.

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Breakout Session


Measuring Risks Posed by Wildfire Smoke in NW Colorado

Dan Hendershott

Residents and visitors to the Northwest Region of Colorado are generally very health conscience.  This same region of Colorado has recently experienced more smoke filled air from local and regional wildfire events.  This smoke has caused many citizens, health officials and school athletic directors to question whether or not the air is healthy to breathe. The Northwest region of Colorado is under represented for smoke measuring devices so it has made assessing air quality risk difficult. The NW Region HCC funded a project that is establishing a network of air quality sensors for the NW region or Colorado. Such a network will improve the ability for officials and the public to assess risks related to smoke with the hope of reducing undesirable health impacts.

Dan grew up in Denver. He received a bachelors degree from CSU in Environmental Health. After working in metro Denver for 6 years, Dan relocated to Summit County Environmental Health in 2004. He has been the EH Manager since 2005.  He believes strongly that we regulate with respect for customers and keep focused on public health outcomes.  The regulations are a tool to achieving that goal.

9:45 AM - 3:00 PM


Psychological First Aid

Traci Harris

Psych First Aid is an evidence-informed modular approach for assisting people in the immediate aftermath of disaster and terrorism to reduce initial distress and to foster short and long-term adaptive functioning. It can be used both by mental health experts and by those without expertise in mental health, such as responders and volunteers.

Traci Harris has her Master’s in Applied Sociology and Counseling. She is a Licensed Addictions Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor. Traci has been working for Mind Springs Health for the past 10 years and has been Mind Spring’s Disaster Coordinator since 2014.

11:00 AM - 12:00 pm

Breakout Session


Updates and Clarifications on the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule

Melanie Roth

Get an update on the CMS emergency preparedness requirements, proposed rule changes and clarifications in the interpretive guidance. Hear about what health surveyors look for when conducting health care surveys and the top emergency preparedness deficiencies being cited. Bring your questions!

Melanie Roth is a trainer and emergency response coordinator for the Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. She interfaces with health facilities impacted by emergencies, evaluates and provides situational awareness internally and to ESF 8 partners. She is the division lead on CMS emergency response requirements and provides training and education to division staff, health care providers, and other partners on preparedness and response planning. She represents the division on teams that draft statewide policies and procedures related to pandemics, crisis standards of care, continuity of operations and other response mechanisms. She is also a Red Cross Volunteer and has been deployed to assist with recovery efforts after emergencies including Hurricane Harvey (2017) and Hurricane Florence (2018).

11:00 AM - 12:00 pm

Breakout Session


Acupuncture Response: Community and Responder Resilience

Dr. Steve Shomo, DAOM, L.Ac, AP, GCDMH, CSCS, E-RYT, WFR

Introduction to the CAMRC, how acupuncture works, and the role of integrative acupuncture in emergency response and post incident care.  We will discuss how acupuncture response provides care and support for communities and responders to foster resiliency.

Steve is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Board Certified and dual licensed in Colorado and Florida. He is a Wilderness First Responder and Instructor, Disaster Mental Health Specialist, Veterans Administration Healthcare provider, and the Unit Coordinator and Training Specialist for the Colorado Acupuncture Medical Reserve Corps (CAMRC), the nation’s first acupuncture based federally approved MRC responding to disasters and critical incidents.

12:50 PM - 1:50 pM

Breakout Session


Colorado Crisis Standards of Care Plan Update

Ginny Schwartzer, MEP

Session Description Coming Soon

Ginny Schwartzer is the Chief Executive Officer of All Clear Emergency Management Group. She has nearly ten years of experience in safety and emergency management through positions with the North Carolina Industrial Commission Safety Education Section and as an emergency management consultant working with healthcare, higher education, and private industry clients. Ginny previously served as the System Emergency Manager for Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL) Health, a health system of nine acute care hospitals, two long term care facilities and more than 200 ambulatory care clinics. Ginny is a FEMA Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP), Homeland Security and Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP) instructor, and Incident Command System instructor. Ginny Schwartzer graduated with honors from North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Meteorology and a minor in Journalism. 

12:50 PM - 1:50 pM

Breakout Session


Cybersecurity in the Healthcare Sector

Sean O’Brien

Session Description Coming Soon

Mr. O’Brien graduated from the University of Missouri, School of Accountancy, and practiced public accounting as a CPA for two years in Arizona before being hired by the FBI.

He worked for the FBI for 28 years in a variety of positions including as a Special Agent, a Technically Trained Agent and a Supervisory Special Agent when he served as the Laboratory Director for the Rocky Mountain Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory.

Mr. O’Brien retired from the FBI to work for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in the Cyber Crimes Unit. He is currently detailed to the FBI’s Cyber Crime Task Force in Denver where he focuses on criminal computer intrusion investigations.

2:00 pM - 3:00 pm

Breakout Session


Conducting Meaningful Exercises

Jenny SchmitZ

This presentation will give practical advice on how to design and conduct a meaningful “operations-based” exercise using four steps. Attendees will apply these steps and design an exercise during this session.

Jenny Schmitz is the Vice President at All Clear Emergency Management Group, where she is working diligently to advance the preparedness level in all facets of the healthcare industry. Prior to joining the All Clear team in January 2016, she served as the Director of Safety and the Environment of Care at Denver Health and Hospital Authority in Denver, CO. She was the Safety Officer, Chair of the Environment of Care Committee, and managed all of the emergency preparedness and response planning activities for Denver Health. This role provided her the opportunity to hone her skills in healthcare preparedness and exercise design, as well as respond to real incidents.

Jenny received her Master’s Degree in International Studies (with concentrations in Global Health and International Security) from the University of Denver and her B.A. in International Studies from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN. She is a FEMA Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP), Colorado Certified Emergency Manager (CO-CEM) through the Colorado Emergency Management Association, and a Healthcare Environmental Manager (HEM). She also served as the Safety Officer on the Colorado-3 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT).  Jenny lives in Denver, CO and is an avid reader, sports lover, and traveler. If she is not working, she is probably planning her next adventure!  

2:00 pM - 3:00 pm

Breakout Session

Stop the Bleed

Chris Mailliard

The ability to recognize life-threatening bleeding in someone who is injured and effectively assist that person can save a life. Studies have shown that the help given by an immediate responder can often make the difference between life and death, even before medical professionals arrive.

During Stop the Bleed training, you will learn how to:

  • Determine if an area is safe for you to proceed toward a victim to provide assistance

  • Use your hands to apply direct pressure at the site of the wound to stop bleeding

  • Pack a deep wound with cloth or gauze to control bleeding

  • Correctly apply a tourniquet to an injured limb to stop bleeding

  • Keep the victim calm until help arrives

Chris Mailliard has been in Emergency Management for over 20 years. In the response role locally as a Firefighter/Paramedic and Tactical Paramedic and federally as an Emergency Planning Analyst for DHHS and DHS. Chris currently is an Emergency Manager for several acute care hospitals and free-standing emergency departments in the Denver metro area. Through his company, Response Ready, he has been teaching Casualty Care classes for over 10 years to Law Enforcement, schools, businesses, and other Immediate Responders.