About the Award Winners

Excellence in Innovation

To recognize an innovative approach that supports or further strengthens emergency and disaster preparedness efforts.

Washington Veterans Home

This award is being given to recognize Ron Bergstrom and Jill DeCianne’s many outstanding and innovative efforts to help improve staff, client and organizational preparedness. For example, they:

  • Developed an emergency/communications toolbox and strategies to partner with the community in a disaster
  • Developed an “Emergency Quick Guide” for staff to use in a disaster
  • Created an innovative in-house staff preparedness game to help clients and staff get more familiar with emergency plans
  • Have looked beyond the walls of the facility to serve and prepare homeless veterans.

By finding new ways to engage staff and clients in emergency preparedness work, they have increased their organization’s ability to care for patients in a crisis. Their clients are safer and their organization is more resilient because of their work.

Excellence in Collaboration

To recognize an individual or organization that has utilized strategic collaboration to enhance emergency preparedness.

Misty Bowechop, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe

This award is given to recognize Misty’s demonstrated leadership and commitment to collaboration between Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe and other public health and coalition partners to improve healthcare preparedness among tribal health and community partners.  Her commitment to collaboration has helped advance and improve plans, policies and processes in ways that ensure more effective partnership and collaboration with the tribe.  Specifically, she has worked to collaborate with public health and coalition partners on Disaster Readiness Training (formerly the Triage and Treatment training). Her expertise and partnership has helped improve the training to better address the needs of all partners.

Excellence in Leadership

To recognize an individual within an organization that has provided the leadership required to support an emergency preparedness project or activity among many competing priorities.

(Two winners were recognized.)

Jason Biermann, Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management

Jason Biermann leads one of the largest Emergency Management Offices in the state, and is active locally, regionally and statewide, in representing Emergency Management. As the Network has grown to serve all of Western Washington, Jason’s leadership has brought together disparate entities to work together for a successful transition. His state leadership experience has contributed to the development of regional systems that are in sync with existing state processes. Other leaders praise his positive approach, and he brings a calming influence to any discussion, encouraging participation and collaboration.

Ava Alamdari, MD and Jo Davies, MD, UW Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology

Ava Alamdari, MD and Jo Davies, MD, are leaders in the UW Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology. The medical center is not normally a trauma organization, but Dr. Alamdari and Dr. Davies recognized that in a disaster, they may be called upon to care for patients in different ways. During a time where there are many competing priorities, they spent 10 months developing a detailed plan for specifically mobilizing the anesthesia teams. They were meticulous in considering the details of the plan, but also in simplifying the work into an easy-to-activate Anesthesia Job Action Sheet. In a major disaster, all healthcare facilities may need to be utilized in different ways. The knowledge and commitment of Drs. Alamdari and Davies is essential to the healing mission of the UW Medical Center and demonstrate how everyone has a role to play in disaster preparedness and response.