Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication - Feb. 14

Time: 8:00 AM


Northern Illinois University
Naperville Center
1120 E. Diehl Road


Fee: $75 per person for staff from IHA-member hospitals and health systems; $125 per person for non-members

Registration includes continental breakfast, lunch, breaks and program material.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations will be accepted and refunds issued (minus a $35 service charge) for requests received by Thursday, January 31, 2019. After this date, no refunds will be made. Registrants who do not cancel in advance and do not attend are liable for the entire program fee. Registrants unable to attend may send an alternate. Please provide notice of cancellation or substitute to Lorri Vanecek.

Register Online

The right message at the right time can save lives during disaster response. Learn how to provide the proper communications during and after an emergency from leaders in the field during IHA’s one-day Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) workshop. Taught by experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this workshop draws on lessons learned during past public health emergencies and research in public health, psychology and emergency risk communication.


8:00-8:30 am: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 am-4:30 pm: Program (breaks and lunch included)

4:30 pm: Adjournment

The program will be composed of the following modules:

  • Introduction to CERC
  • Psychology of a crisis
  • Messages and audiences
  • Community engagement
  • Crisis communication plans

The Illinois Health and Hospital Association is authorized to award 7.0 hours of pre-approved ACHE Qualified Education credit (non-ACHE) for this program toward advancement or recertification in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). Participants in this program who wish to have the continuing education hours applied toward ACHE Qualified Education credit should indicate their attendance when submitting application to ACHE for advancement or recertification.


At the end of this program, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain CERC principles
  • Describe the psychology of a crisis and the type of messages each audience needs
  • Explain how to tailor messages
  • Define core concepts of crisis communication planning
  • Explain the roles of the media and the spokesperson
  • Describe the benefits of social media and mobile media devices
  • Identify ways to develop relationships with stakeholders and partners
  • Identify key communication strategies in engaging the community during and after a public health emergency

Who Should Attend

This course is intended for:

  • Public information officers
  • Communication and public relations specialists
  • Government relations officers
  • Media relations officers
  • Public safety officers
  • Directors of emergency preparedness


Lisa Briseño, MS, Health Communications Specialist, CDC Division of Emergency Operations, Atlanta
An emergency risk communications professional, teacher and environmental scientist by training, Briseño is a passionate advocate for individuals facing disproportionate barriers in health, safety and advancement. She joined the CDC in 2008 as a health communications specialist and presidential management fellow with the National Center for Environmental Health.

Briseño then joined the Division of Emergency Operations in 2013 in a similar role after participating in several emergency responses. She is highly skilled in communicating with people with literacy and language challenges, considering and incorporating cultural aspects within health communication efforts, and distilling critical health information into a relevant, plain language format.

Briseño has supported the CDC in multiple global and domestic emergency responses, including the 2017 hurricanes, West African Ebola and the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. She is also the acting team lead for the CDC’s Emergency Partners Information Connection team, which partners with a broad array of organizations to exchange information that helps people stay safe and healthy during a public health emergency.

Robert J. Alvey, CPM, Deputy Chief, Emergency Risk Communications Branch, CDC Division of Emergency Operations, Center for Preparedness and Response, Atlanta
As deputy chief, Alvey is responsible for activating response plans and serving as co-lead of the CDC’s Joint Information Center during emergency responses. He also oversees a wide spectrum of activities to prepare for public health emergencies. Prior to joining the CDC in 2015, Alvey served in the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a senior external affairs officer, deputy federal coordinating officer, response chief of staff and senior advisor to the response operations command staff.

He has collaborated with numerous state and federal agencies as a crisis and risk communication expert, including the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Environmental Protection Agency, FBI, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, World Health Organization, several North American Tribal Nations, and numerous state emergency management agencies. Alvey has led statewide and national communication teams for myriad events, including the West Nile and H1N1 viruses; anthrax attacks; Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike, and Sandy; and other disasters.

IHA thanks program sponsors Alertus and Singlewire Software.