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Construction: Man-Made Cascading Disaster Events You Should Prepare For

Presented by: 

Jennifer J. Davis, MSEM, CEM, GAACEM, NREMT-P 
Manager, Emergency Preparedness, Wellstar Kennestone Regional Medical Center

Hanna Henry, VP of Operations, Wellstar Kennestone Regional Medical Center

About the Session: 

This presentation describes real events that occurred in April 2023 during the new construction of a 9 story bed tower in the center of the Wellstar Kennestone Regional Medical Center campus. Demolition of an existing building began in late March 2023 and continued into April 2023 to prepare for the next phase of building the new bed tower. The first incident was a Natural Gas leak  that shut down the main surgical suites and forced the hospital to be on total diversion for several hours until the source could be located. The second incident occurred 2 weeks later during drilling which caused a major flood in the lower level of an adjacent tower that cared for laboring mothers and pediatrics. Both events were due to construction and both events posed significant challenges with potential evacuation and re-location of patients.

About the Presenters: 

Jennifer Davis is the Manager of Emergency Preparedness at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, GA, and serves as the Region N Healthcare Coalition Coordinator for Region N. Specializing in Emergency Management, Jennifer uses that experience to assist the Coalition and regional hospitals with planning for and responding to large scale emergencies that affect the community. 

By focusing on emergency response and recovery functions, Jennifer has been able to put her Master of Science in Emergency Management degree earned at Jacksonville State University to good use. Over the years, Jennifer’s strengths at Wellstar Health System and the Region N Healthcare Coalition have garnered some recognition for successfully conducting regional full-scale exercises and developing regional response plans for large-scale disasters. Jennifer was recently awarded the COVID-19 Pandemic Civilian Service Medal for exemplary service to the nation as part of the federal medical response to the pandemic while serving as a Planning Section Chief on an Incident Management Team (IMT) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR). 

Hanna Henry serves as the Vice President of Operations at Wellstar Kennestone Regional Medical Center. She focusses on engaging, results-focused healthcare executive with expertise in hospital operations, change leadership, and development of strategic goals and solutions. She has a successful track record leading hospital-wide initiatives for patient care & and experience, value improvement, physician and employee engagement, compliance, program development, and cost-savings. She is a service-minded leader with the ability to navigate ambiguity while providing meaningful contributions to healthcare organizations, their staff, and their patients and families.

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