After Superstorm Sandy: Lessons Learned for Bolstering the Resilience of Health Systems and Services

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Irwin Redlener, MD and David Abramson, PhD MPH of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) and Stephen Flynn of Northeastern University’s Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security hosted “After Superstorm Sandy: Lessons Learned for Bolstering the Resilience of Health Systems and Services” on December 3rd, 2013 at Columbia University.

Sloan CoverThe day-long event focused on the capacity of health systems and services at local, state, and regional levels to prepare for and recover from disasters. Roundtable participants discussed Sandy as a “teachable moment,” considering lessons learned that can lead to the development of new tools, processes, policies, and incentives for bolstering system and service resilience.

The event was the third of four forums in a series funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, each in collaboration with a different academic enter with specialized expertise. The series is examining ways that cities can enhance the resilience of key systems or sectors to include transportation, energy, health, and risk management. NCDP and the Kostas Research Institute will produce a report based on this event, and there will be a synthesizing report at the end of the series.

Attendees included high ranking federal, state and local officials, leaders from local healthcare systems and public health experts from other coastal cities. In addition, a keynote was provided by Sheri Fink, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and author of Five Days at Memorial (Crown, 2013). 

Read the Conference Synopsis and Conference Agenda.

For more information and forthcoming reports, visit the Kostas Institute’s conference page

Panels were comprised of the following individuals:

David Abramson
Deputy Director
National Center for Disaster Preparedness
Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences
Columbia University

Paul Biddinger
Vice Chair for Emergency Preparedness
Massachusetts General Hospital

Allison Blake
Commissioner
New Jersey Department of Children and Families

Arturo Brito 
Deputy Commissioner, Public Health Services
New Jersey Department of Health

Dennis Dowling
Senior Vice-President, Ambulatory Services
North Shore-LIJ Health System

Sheri Fink
New America Foundation
Author, Five Days at Memorial (Crown, 2013)

Lewis R. Goldfrank
Herbert W. Adams Professor 
Chair of Emergency Medicine
New York University/Bellevue Hospital Center

Beverly Grossman
Senior Policy Director
Community Health Care Association of New York State

Jerome Hauer
Commissioner
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Gary Kalkut
Senior Vice-President, Network Integration
Associate Chief Clinical Officer
NYU Langone Medical Center

Ali Khan
Director
Office of Public Health Preparedness & Response
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Mary Landry
Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director for Resilience Policy
National Security Staff
The White House

Nicole Lurie 
Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
United States Department of Health and Human Services

Alonzo Plough
Director
Los Angeles County Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Program

Ross Wilson
Senior Vice-President/Chief Medical Officer
New York City Health & Hospitals Corporation

Howard Zucker 
First Deputy Commissioner
New York State Department of Health