ALAMOSA – Thursday, June 15, 2017 - At the San Luis Valley Conejos Hospital and Regional Medical Center, a mock incident took place where Lee Hankins, Pharmacy Director, and Kelly Gallegos, Administrator on Call and Incident Command Leader, coordinated emergency operations to distribute antibiotics as part of the state-wide three-day exercise.


The San Luis Valley Regional Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated on Thursday, June 15 to support Valley hospitals, clinics, and public health agencies participating in a three-day statewide exercise. The exercise ended on Saturday with a mock Point of Dispensing (POD) site at Ski Hi Park in Monte Vista.


San Luis Valley Health practiced procedures for dispensing preventative medication of over 500 doses to about 200 households at Conejos County Hospital and SLV Regional Medical Center to ensure healthcare workers, first responders and their family members would be protected and available to do their jobs in a real emergency.


Besides Gallegos and Hankins, many other staff were assigned leading roles such as Brent Lehto and Julie Ramstetter as Point of Contacts. David Gallegos led the Security team; Tandra Dunn, Mark Loy and Angela Werner filled in as Planning Chiefs to document and assign additional roles; Donna Wehe served as the Public Information Officer; and Shane Mortensen kept track of expenses as the Financial Chief. Dr. Svetlana Bresnitz was asked to be the Medical Staff Leader.


SLV Health’s drills were successful training opportunities due to all of the participation of staff who stood in line to receive their antibiotics as well as those who jumped into the “labor pool” and received Just-In-Time Training (such as counting out medicine). Special thanks go to: Chad Chavez, Marisa Fricke, Kiley Gibbs, Antonio Gurule, Dawn Weed, Jennifferr Baird, Mandy Crockett, Jim Frye, Kelly Gurule, Adam Lawrence, AnnaRae Martinez, James Martinez, Brett Light, Richard Marquez, David Medina, Joseph Ruybal, David Strank, Reyes Vasquez, Jamie Frank, Robert Maez, Jeanette Martinez, Janet McGinnis, Joe Stephens, Mandi Weed, Tiffany Lovato, Lindsay Meredith, Jane Self, Svetlana Bresnitz, Silvia Ruybal, Lisa Pintor, Suzanne McClanahan, Erica Espinoza, Terri Salazar, Angelica Gallegos, Julia Bryant, Ressa Gonzales, Teresa Lucero, Irene Casias, Andrea DeHerrera, Jennifer Jaramillo, Mark Gallegos, Roque Villagomez and Mike Benedict, a UC Denver pharmacy student.  Ted Anderson and Michelle Gay served special roles as auditors.


During the exercise - which has been over a year in planning - local, regional, and state partners tested their ability to order, distribute, receive, and dispense resources from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) in response to a widespread public health emergency. The mock exercise scenario involved a hypothetical novel infectious disease spreading quickly throughout the state. As the exercise unfolded, Healthcare Coalition partners practiced how they would respond to an increasing number of cases of a hypothetical new and dangerous disease.


On Friday, Valley Wide Health Systems Alamosa Family Medical Center conducted a similar mock exercise that served 285 individuals. Also on Friday, Public Health agencies from Alamosa, Conejos, and Costilla counties came together to hold an exercise, with the help of over 90 community volunteers, to practice dispensing preventative medications to the public in a mock setting in Alamosa.


The Regional Emergency Operations Center’s support role has involved coordinating the ordering and receipt of medications and other supplies for the region; and coordinating communication between local, regional, and state partners. 


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