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Release Date: Nov 30, 2018

Expiry Date: Nov 29, 2020

Topic: Ready for Anything: Applying All-Hazards Planning and Experience to Protect Staff from Ebola And Other High-Consequence Pathogens

Presenters:  Christopher Blank, MPH and Theresa LaGarce, BSN, RN 

Member: $20 Non-Member: $35 

Topic Overview:

Microbes responsible for infectious diseases with potential to cause epidemics involving severe human illness frequently are referred to as high-consequence pathogens. They pose significant preparedness, mitigation and response challenges for healthcare by taxing the capacity to maintain staff safety while providing adequate patient care. Recognition of the seriousness of the challenges posed by high-consequence pathogens is increasing among healthcare and public health leaders following several high-profile events. In recent years, outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome affected hospital operations in multiple countries, while Ebola Virus Disease prompted healthcare facilities throughout the United States to rapidly obtain inventories of personal protective equipment, implement new safety protocols, and train staff how to use personal protective equipment while safely providing patient care. Many of these challenges were identified and met largely on a just-in-time basis. The difficulty of doing so demonstrates the importance of early, thorough, and multi-disciplinary planning to ensure staff are sufficiently protected. Yet, preparing for every potential high-consequence pathogen is difficult and inefficient when response strategies are tailored to a specific disease. Applying the all-hazards methodologies of emergency management to preparedness for high-consequence pathogens can help occupational health professionals more efficiently and comprehensively prepare for the varying demands of different high-consequence pathogens. Combining an all-hazards approach with specific lessons learned from previous experiences involving high-consequence pathogens can position occupational health professionals to contribute to critical emergency preparedness initiatives and ensure healthcare professionals are protected when asked to care for a patient infected with a high-consequence pathogen.



  1. Describe the characteristics of high-consequence pathogens.
  2. Identify occupational health and occupational infection prevention programmatic requirements necessary for responding to high-consequence pathogens.
  3. Interpret how applying all-hazards principles from emergency management can be used to increase planning efficiency.
  4. Explain methods for assessing and applying current capacities to high-consequence pathogen occupational health challenges.


Speaker  Bios:

Christopher Blank is an Infection Prevention Consultant for Occupational Health and Emergency Preparedness at BJC HealthCare in St. Louis, MO. He received his Master’s in Public Health from Saint Louis University, where his concentration was bio-security and disaster preparedness and epidemiology. Blank’s responsibilities include assisting coordination, planning, and response by occupational health, infection prevention, and emergency preparedness to high-consequence infectious diseases, including Ebola, pandemic influenza, and emerging respiratory illnesses.


Theresa LaGarce is an Occupational Health Nurse at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital in St. Peters, MO and Progress West Hospital in O’Fallon, MO. She received her Bachelor of Nursing from Maryville University. LaGarce is responsible for the health and safety of all employees who are involved in the care of patients and the patient environment. 


 Requirements for Completion

Successful completion of this activity includes submitting an accurate registration, making necessary payment, and reviewing all activity slides and the webinar presentation. Completion of the evaluation form is required.


Type of Activity


Statement of Credit upon Completion

Upon successful completion of this educational activity, participants will be provided a link to the evaluation. A link to the statement of completion will be provided at the end of the evaluation. This activity will expire on Nov 29, 2020. After this date, contact hours will not be earned.


Disclosures:  AOHP does not guarantee, warrant, certify, verify and/or authorize the content of this seminar, and/or any subsequent use of the information presented at this webinar. This webinar is not a clinical/medical service but is intended for educational purposes only. Planners of this educational activity have no real or apparent financial, professional or personal conflict of interest to disclose. Faculty/presenter disclosure is stated following each presenter’s bio-sketch. AOHP has implemented a mechanism to identify and resolve all conflicts of interest before the delivery of this educational activity.


Commercial or Sponsor support: N/A

CE Contact Hours

This activity awards 1 contact hour


Accreditation Statement

The Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education (CNE) by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation.


ANCC Provider Number P0341


Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest occurs when an individual has an opportunity to affect educational content about healthcare products or services of a commercial company with which she/he has a financial, professional or personal relationship.


The planners and presenter(s)/author(s) of these CNE activities have disclosed no relevant financial, professional or personal relationships with any commercial companies about this activity.


Non-Endorsement of Products

The Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare's accredited provider status refers only to continuing nursing education activities and does not imply that there is real or implied endorsement of any product, service or company referred to in this activity nor of any company subsidizing costs related to the activity.

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