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DANVILLE, Pa. – Fifty-seven providers and staff members from Geisinger and AtlantiCare, a member of Geisinger, recently attended emergency management training at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Ala., from July 22 to 28. The advanced training helps prepare healthcare professionals, emergency response teams and other government officials for emergency response and optimal decision-making during a large-scale emergency such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

The training, Healthcare Leadership (HCL) and Hospital Emergency Response Team (HERT), included a combination of lectures and hands-on drills at the CDP’s Nobile Training Facility in Anniston, the nation’s only hospital dedicated to training healthcare and emergency response providers and professionals in disaster preparedness and response. 

Geisinger attendees participated in several exercises that involved a variety of disaster scenarios including chemical attacks; a smallpox outbreak; and a catastrophic earthquake which triggered a nuclear power plant explosion, power outages and infrastructure collapse. 

Skills that were tested included scene size-up, rescue, decontamination, pre-hospital treatment, crime scene management, evidence collection, hospital response, effective communications using the Hospital Incident Command System, evaluating medical supply management and distribution, and communicating with the media and general public.

“Our goal is to be better prepared to take decisive action in the event of a disaster at one of our facilities or in our local communities,” said Stephanie Gryboski, MS, director of Emergency Management for Geisinger. “We are proud to be a leader in emergency management preparedness, and this training speaks volumes for our dedication and commitment to patients and communities in times of crisis.” 

Geisinger participants represented a diverse range of disciplines from throughout the healthcare system including physicians, nurses, leadership and staff from the following departments:

  • Administration
  • Cardiology
  • Care Management
  • Chaplains
  • Clinical Operations
  • Emergency Management
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Environmental Services
  • Facilities 
  • Finance
  • Information Technology
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Medical Health Physics
  • Nursing
  • Patient Placement
  • Pharmacy
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Security
  • Supply Chain
  • Surgery
  • Trauma

Since 2015, 261 Geisinger employees have attended CDP training, including staff from 10 hospital campuses and a multitude of clinics across the health system’s footprint, as well as Geisinger Health Plan.

“This training makes us a stronger and more effective organization, not only during an emergency, but also in our day-to-day operations,” said Gryboski.

FEMA’s CDP is a federally chartered training center that identifies, develops, tests and delivers training to state, local and tribal emergency response teams and healthcare providers. 

Photo of HCL class: Front row, from left: Katherine Kemberling, emergency management coordinator, Geisinger; Margaret Austin, RN, trauma outreach coordinator, Geisinger Wyoming Valley/Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre; Anne Kasper, staff chaplain, Geisinger Wyoming Valley; Stephanie Gryboski, director, emergency management, Geisinger; Laura Mentch, regional director, enterprise pharmacy, Geisinger; Holly-Anne Franco, volunteer firefighter; Fannie Martinez, nursing supervisor, Swedish Hospital; Megan Sobieski, marketing and communications specialist, Geisinger; Melvina James, security, Parker Indian Health Center; Susan Battaglia, RN, assistant vice president, nursing, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Mainland Campus; Sandra Dietrich, RN, assistant vice president, nursing, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Atlantic City Campus; Michael Glassburn, engineer, Dignity Health; Kirstie Ashe, RN; Renee Blakiewicz, administrative director, clinical operations, Geisinger Community Medical Center. Second row, from left: Ronald Napikoski, Jr., director of cardiology/neurology/pulmonology and emergency management coordinator, Geisinger Lewistown Hospital; Essie Reed-Schrader, M.D., emergency medicine physician, Geisinger Wyoming Valley; Sam Balukoff, administrator, Geisinger Shamokin Area Community Hospital; Kristy Hine, chief financial officer, Geisinger Lewistown Hospital; Stacy Kile, operations manager, Geisinger Health Plan; Evangeline Pablo, chief nurse executive, Parker Indian Health Center; Kristin Kult, emergency department educator, Children’s Hospital; Heidi Troutman, emergency department technician, Geisinger Lewistown Hospital; Linda Dutch, MHA, HEM, corporate chief safety officer, AtlantiCare; Jeffrey Jenkins, emergency preparedness specialist, Orlando Health; Charlene Hayes, RN. Third row, from left: Justin McIntyre, RN, emergency department, Geisinger Shamokin Community Hospital; Mark Williams, nursing director, Geisinger Shamokin Area Community Hospital; Nikkol Dorman, RN, inpatient operations manager, Geisinger Medical Center; Michelle Millikan Wilkin, RN; Lesley Carroll, nurse manager, Metro Group; Alex Salvador, simulation technician, Swedish Hospital; Sean Lercher, security officer, Swedish Hospital; Jeremy Reese, security dispatch technology supervisor, Geisinger Medical Center. Fourth row, from left: Mark Allred, RN, clinical nurse educator, Geisinger Medical Center; John Harahus, RN, flight nurse, Geisinger LifeFlight; Rory Stubbs, inpatient operations manager, Geisinger Medical Center; Douglas Fetzer, emergency preparedness coordinator, UPMC; Nathan Beckman, engineer, Digital Health; Amber Frye, business continuity manager, Riverside Health System; Karmen Baker, security officer, St. Luke’s, Washington; Marc Stempka, digital writer/media specialist, Geisinger. Fifth row, from left: Gordy Evans, regional radiology director, Geisinger Medical Center; Robert Ituarte, Sr., emergency management coordinator, Riverside Health System; Joseph Goyne, senior director, logistics, Geisinger; Daniel Landesberg, administrative director, Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre/Geisinger Wyoming Valley; Eric Nowak, senior director, Environmental services, Geisinger; Jay Bohn, logistics operations manager, Geisinger Northeast; John Hunt, MS, CHEC, corporate director of security and emergency management, AtlantiCare; Daniel Mitten, security director, AtlantiCare; Francisco Harper, Parker Indian Health Center

Photo of HERT class:
Front row, from left: Jennifer Tornetta, APR, director, media relations and public affairs, AtlantiCare; Barbara Cottrell, RN, clinical manager, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Atlantic City Campus; Debra Swanson, emergency department coordinator, Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital; Kelly Cresci, regional director of respiratory therapy, Geisinger Medical Center; Scott Wibberly, RN, transplant nurse coordinator, Geisinger Medical Center. Second row, from left: Cathleen Jordan, RN, clinical manager, AtlantiCare; Kevin Rinehimer, RN, Geisinger Community Medical Center; Dale Santos, RN; Mark Jordan, RN, Geisinger Lewistown Hospital; Rachael Galego, RN, Trauma Program director, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Atlantic City Campus; Farzan Roashan, security supervisor, University of California, San Francisco; Amy Taylor-Teats, M.D., emergency department director, Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital; Leslie Young, health physics tech, Geisinger Medical Center. Third row, from left: Carol Walters, emergency department manager, Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital; Joseph Daugherty, RN, Sentara Health; Che Smith, radiology technician; Jennifer Chubb, respiratory therapist, Geisinger Medical Center; John Force, security officer, Geisinger Lewistown Hospital; Amy Reiner, clinical nurse educator, Geisinger Medical Center; Tara Dulac, clinical nurse educator, Geisinger Medical Center; Joseph Conn, security agent, Pinnacle Health. Fourth row, from left: Jason Holloway, director, environmental services, Geisinger Wyoming Valley; Adam Fischbach, emergency room technician; Catherine Voltaire, sonographer, Memorial Healthcare System; Richard Kiphut, emergency room technician; Michael Westrol, M.D., emergency medical services assistant medical director, AtlantiCare; Michael Goss, respiratory therapist, Geisinger Lewistown Hospital; Thomas Bloom, RN, Geisinger Lewistown Hospital; Bruce Parkes, RN. Fifth row, from left: Matthew Kurtz, assistant chief, Geisinger Medical Center/Danville Ambulance; Brett Glodfelter, facilities, Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital; Nick Coleman, anesthesia operations manager, Geisinger; Nathan Smith, nurse practitioner, Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital; Douglas Vanbrunt, RN, IV therapy, Geisinger Medical Center; Alexander Haines, RN, emergency department, Geisinger Lewistown Hospital; Jason Fleming, emergency medical services educator; Josh Bukowski, emergency medicine resident physician, David Grant Medical Center

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the non-profit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 134 care sites - including 10 hospital campuses, and Geisinger Health Plan, with 600,000 members in commercial and government plans. The Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $14 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country.  Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

The Health Care Leadership Class at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in July 2018
Members of the Healthcare Leadership class
The Hospital Emergency Response Team class at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in July 2018
Members of the Hospital Emergency Response Team class
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