March 2019

Public Health

Many events have kept the regional public health personnel busy this year. From the water crisis in Parchment, to PFAS issues, there has been tremendous work in keeping our communities safe and healthy. Our regional epidemiologist, Bethany Reimink, continues to keep us updated with the latest information regarding infectious diseases, and our county emergency preparedness personnel are always active in regional exercises and training.

Acute Care

Our regional hospitals have been busy with preparedness events. From active shooter training, to mass influx and decon exercises, our hospitals and partners have been diligently making sure they are prepared for the changing landscape of emergency preparedness. Many acute care providers have been training in Anniston, AL at the CDP as well as local education and training in preparedness.

Long Term Care

Our regional long term care facilities have done excellent work in making sure they are well prepared for future events. This fall several facilities had events that ranged from evacuation exercises to tabletop drills involving utility shut downs. This sector of emergency preparedness continues to evolve as an important partner in readiness for our communities.


Our regional EMS partners have continued to keep high standards in prehospital care through training and education. Multiple first responder agencies have become BDLS certified. In addition, the region is developing a Hostile MCI protocol. Region 5 also has two new medical directors in Calhoun County and Cass County. Our EMS partners continue to provide high levels of care to our communities.

January Tabletop Exercise

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our mass fatality/infectious disease tabletop exercise. We had nearly 100 participants from many different specialty areas around the region. The exercise was a great test of our plans and resources and the information that we received will help improve our readiness for the future. Thanks for helping keep Region 5 safe and prepared.

March Meeting

On March 12, the 5DMRC coaltion meeting featured two excellent speakers focusing discussion on the recovery aspect of disaster preparedness. First we had Nicholas and Julia Meier from HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response with their dogs Ischgl and Kayak. This was followed by a presentation from Carmen Kucinich from the FBI Victim Services Response Team informing us about the work that they do with victims of mass casualties. Both speakers did a great job educating us on the importance of recovery and the great work they do to help others.

Upcoming Events


29th - BDLS, WMed Upjohn Campus


4th and 5th - ADLS, Simulation City, 300 Nazareth Rd

9th - Monthly Coalition Meeting, WMed Upjohn Campus

23rd - Mental Health First Aid, http://kazoocmh.org/MentalHealthFirstAid.aspx


7th-9th - Great Lakes Homeland Security Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan


3rd - Mental Health First Aid, http://kazoocmh.org/MentalHealthFirstAid.aspx

5th-7th - ICS 300, WMed Upjohn Campus

11th - Monthly Coalition Meeting, WMed Upjohn Campus


Christina Benson

Chris has been with WMed/5th District since August 2016 as the 5th District Assistant Coordinator for Healthcare Preparedness. Chris has an extensive background in EMS, working for 12 yrs in the region, 10 of those as a Critical Care Paramedic. Chris has also been involved in EMS education, employed by KVCC for many years teaching MFR, Basic EMT and Paramedic courses. To reach Chris Benson email her at Christina.benson@med.wmich.edu or by phone at (269) 337-4290

This quarter's book will be The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry.

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