CEHC, Albany Med Partner to Host Seminar on Pediatric Emergency Preparedness

Attendees watch a presentation during the Pediatric Emergency Preparedness seminar inside ETEC's first floor meeting room.
Photo by Leanne DeRosa, Albany Medical Center

By Fiona Hernandez

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 25, 2022) – The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC) partnered with the Capital Region Health Emergency Preparedness Coalition and Albany Medical Center to host a seminar on Pediatric Emergency Preparedness earlier this month. 

The seminar, which took place inside the ETEC research and development complex on Wednesday, Oct. 12, brought together social workers, school nurses, pediatric nurses, and EMS workers to learn about how they can prepare to treat children in emergency situations. The topics focused on active shooting in a school setting, human trafficking, autism in emergencies, and what’s new in pediatric emergency care. 

Laura Stebbins, director for emergency preparedness at Glens Falls Hospital, and Scott Heller, vice president for system emergency management at Albany Medical Center, coordinated the seminar. 

“We decided to do this seminar because most hospitals are geared toward adult patients,” Stebbins said. “Very few of them have pediatric units. Our goal is to provide pediatric information for hospitals and agencies that provide pediatric services.”

Scott Heller believes that this will inform healthcare workers about the situations that may arise in pediatric emergency preparedness. 

“Few healthcare facilities have pediatric specialties anymore,” he said. “We put this together and tried to find speakers that can speak on current topics and situations smaller hospitals miss. We can offer them the tools and resources to be able to address that.”

Jessica Gaffney, a pediatric trauma registrar for Albany Med and a New York State paramedic, said the seminar taught her how to be aware of the different aspects of childhood treatment. 

“Child health treatment is something to look forward to not only in the prehospital setting, but the hospital setting,” she said. “It’s important to learn about the different illnesses we are starting to see post-COVID era. These are things like maltreatment, human trafficking, and trauma cases, that help us raise awareness of what we can do better, prehospital and in-hospital settings.” 

Tiffany Smith, a social worker who counsels grieving children when they’ve lost a family member in hospice care, also attended the seminar. 

“Since the focus of my work is working with kids and families, I thought it was important to learn about all these topics,” she said. “It’s just something to be aware of while working with the families in the community and our hospital families.”

The seminar added to a growing partnership between CEHC and Albany Med.

“Given the focus at our new ETEC building on engaging with external researchers, innovators, small business developers and state agencies, we felt that hosting this seminar made a lot of sense,” said Michael Baumgardner, CEHC’s director of student success. “With CEHC having undergraduate and graduate programs in emergency preparedness/management, it was a really nice fit and valuable training experience for our students.” 

CEHC students who attended the seminar received credit as part of their 100 training hours required for graduation.