By Jenny Redick
Regional Special Needs Planner
The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, in collaboration with the HOEPS Committee made up of multiple stakeholders (www.hoeps.org ), offered a new and unique approach to HOEPS based on survey results from previous seminar attendees.
Offered both on the Peninsula and Southside each year to congregate care facilities (i.e. nursing homes, assisted living and group homes), HOEPS began with key note speaker Steve Yancovich, Nursing Home Administrator, who survived Hurricane Katrina by sheltering in place at his facility with patients not well enough to evacuate. Afterward, he voluntarily became the Designated Regional Coordinator for Region 1 of Louisiana, responsible for the evacuation coordination of 31 facilities in the four parishes of the Greater New Orleans Area. Mr. Yancovich shared invaluable lessons learned from his experiences/training and provided an appropriate if not dramatic introduction to a tabletop exercise tailored specifically for HOEPS 2011.
Ms. Tammy Waldroup and Mr. Pete Sommer, of Waldroup, Sommer & Associates, in collaboration with CRA/VA Department of Emergency Managment’s Exercise Liaison, Ms. Donna Brehm, led a tabletop exercise focused on planning and evacuation coordination with the scenario of an impending hurricane (level 3) strike to the region in approximately 72 hours. During the exercise, Emergency Managers/Health Planners assisted small groups of participants, based on locale, with group discussions. According to seminar evaluations and comments “day of,” participants gleaned a significant amount of ideas and lessons learned to incorporate in their own plans.
“Your seminar Wednesday was one of the best I have ever attended. The hands-on exercise was most helpful and the keynote speaker was superb. Thank you again for such a great event.”
-HOEPS 2011 Participant
For more information about HOEPS, visit http://hoeps.org