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The Mount Sinai Health System's Transition from a Network-Level Incident Management Team (IMT) to an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Structure


Our presentation will explore the Mount Sinai Health System’s (New York) journey from a System-level Incident Management Team (IMT) framework to the introduction and incorporation of an effective System Emergency Operations Center (EOC) structure. Highlights will include the System-wide Full-Scale Exercise that precipitated the need for change, the mechanisms and materials utilized to roll out the new structure, achieving leadership buy-in, and the activation of the EOC for the first time in the face of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic in New York City.  The presentation will delineate the System EOC’s efficacy in evolving from an incident command structure to managing our overarching COVID-19 response via a Unified Command Group (UCG) and 21 key Essential Support Functions (ESFs), all comprised of trained Mount Sinai leaders.  Additionally, the presentation will examine the introduction of Work Groups to allow specific ESFs to work more closely together as part of the EOC.  Finally, the presentation will look at the current status of the initiative where the ESF concept is being brought to the hospital IMT level (further enhancing our operational capability by making the structure more welcoming/useful for team members).  Participants will gain knowledge of strategies to employ when pursing a similar monumental incident command structure change within their own healthcare system organization.

About the Presenters:


Al Villacara, DMD

Al Villacara, DMD is the Director, Emergency Management for the Mount Sinai Health System.  In this role, he has oversight over Emergency Management Education and Training as well as a wide variety of additional preparedness initiatives. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Villacara held emergency management leadership roles with The Cadmus Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers, NewYork-Presbyterian Regional Hospital Network, New York City Emergency Management, and the United States Air Force.  He holds a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and a Bachelor of Science (Biology) degree from Georgetown University. 

Don Boyce, JD

Don Boyce is the Vice President, Emergency Management for the Mount Sinai Health System. Mr. Boyce joined Mount Sinai from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, where he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director of the Office of Emergency Management for six years. In this position, he led a workforce comprising 10 divisions, 10 regional offices, and more than 300 federal employees throughout the nation. He was responsible for executing the collaborative effort responsible for public health and medical oversight on behalf of all federal agencies and in support of state and local partners. He also served as the primary point of contact for the Department of Defense, Defense Support for Civil Authorities, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency during civilian responses for domestic medical emergencies and mass fatality operations.   


For more than 30 years, Mr. Boyce has held roles in health care and emergency management. He served as a Paramedic/Instructor for the New York City Emergency Medical Service, as an emergency and neonatal paramedic at New York-Presbyterian Hospital for two decades, and as the Director of the Special Investigations Bureau with the New York City Fire Department. He has also served as Corporate Director of Emergency Management at Continuum Health Partners, Director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and Regional Administrator for the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency. Mr. Boyce received his JD from Brooklyn Law School.

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