2015 Maryland Responds MRC Awards
The 2015 Maryland Responds MRC Awards highlight innovative local practices and achievements by recognizing individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions toward making their communities safer, stronger, better prepared and more resilient. Every year we are inspired by the tremendous work being done by Maryland Responders to prepare their communities for emergencies or to help their neighbors cope with the effects of a disaster. We know that it is the Maryland Responders, Unit Administrators and response partners who have helped build and strengthen the Maryland Responds MRC network. And for that, they are most worthy of being recognized. Please join us in congratulating the following award winners:
Distinguished Maryland Responder Award
The Distinguished Maryland Responder Award is presented to a Maryland Responder who actively gives exemplary service in support of the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps in recognition of their outstanding commitment, achievements and leadership in disaster preparedness and response.
Maureen Chapnick is a registered nurse and a Maryland Responder with the Howard County MRC Unit. Maureen has been the Howard County Unit’s most engaged volunteer during 2014-2015. She has assisted in countless public health initiatives, including flu clinics, hearing and vision screenings and health fairs. In addition, Maureen has participated in various exercises to test the unit's emergency response readiness as well as helped several Howard County health Department programs providing administrative support. Maureen's ongoing commitment to Howard County and Maryland Responds is greatly appreciated.
Emergency Response Hero Award
The Emergency Response Hero Award is presented to a Responder who has played an instrumental role in responding to a disaster or public health emergency on behalf of the Maryland Responds MRC.
Anne Witter is a registered nurse and a member of the the Allegany County Maryland Responds Unit. Anne has deployed to various types of emergencies, including Hurricane Katrina and the Lebanon repatriation. After the destabilization of Lebanon, US citizens in Lebanon were given an evacuation order and loaded onto flights for the US. As evacuees arrived at BWI, Maryland Responders greeted incoming flights. Anne, along with other volunteers, assessed, triaged and provided information on community resources. Anne stands out as an emergency response hero not only because of her services as a nurse, but her flexibility and willingness to support emergency responses in whatever way necessary.
Public Health Hero Award
The Public Health Hero Award is presented to a Responder who has been actively engaged in carrying out public health activities (or a specific public health initiative) on behalf of the Maryland Responds MRC.
Teresa Laporte is registered nurse and a member of the Frederick County Maryland Responds Unit. Teresa participated in the Star Spangled Spectacular event in Baltimore City. She volunteered at the first aid stations and was on standby for shelter operations. Teresa also volunteered her time to help us prepare for the Maryland Responds MRC 2015 conference.
Charlene Alliger is a registered nurse and a member of the the Howard County MRC Unit. Charlene has donated countless hours to Maryland Responds. She assisted the Howard County Health Department during school hearing and vision screenings in the 2014-2015 school year. In addition, She participated in numerous local health fairs and outreach activities performing blood pressure screenings. Her contribution has been invaluable to support the Howard County MRC Unit's efforts to prevent diseases and provide early treatment.
Outstanding Leadership Award
The Outstanding Leadership Award is presented to a Responder or Unit Administrator whose ongoing commitment, leadership and service have an exceptional, measurable impact on meeting the mission-delivery goals and priorities of the Maryland Responds MRC Network.
April Tepfer is an EMT paramedic, pharmacy student and member of the Baltimore County Maryland Responds Unit. April has contributed her time and expertise on several occasions throughout the year. She was integral in the recruitment of pharmacy volunteers and the formation of the “POD Squad Team.” She also played a vital role in a statewide exercise hosted by the DHMH to distribute naloxone kits to various health departments and treatment centers to help prevent opioid overdoses. She has conducted presentations on behalf of the State Program to recruit nurses, physicians and pharmacists. April has also taken on a leadership role on the Conference Planning Committee to help facilitate the lunchtime POD exercise. The contributions made by dedicated volunteers, such as Ms. Tepfer, are vital to the State’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from public health emergencies.
Unit Administrator of the Year Award
The Maryland Responds Unit Administrator of the Year Award is presented to a Unit Administrator that has served as an exemplary leader and has successfully supported, advocated on behalf and helped integrate the Maryland Responds MRC into the local community's public health and preparedness infrastructure.
Shawn Stoner is the Unit Administrator of the Washington County Maryland Responds Unit. Shawn has shown herself to be an exemplary leader in advocating for the inclusion of Maryland Responders in the local health department. In May 2014, she coordinated volunteers in a full-scale exercise at the Hagerstown Regional Airport where Maryland Responders played the part of disaster victims. In August 2014, Shawn deployed volunteers to staff a school immunization clinic. In addition to deployments, Shawn has extended unique training opportunities to Responders, such as “What Every Faith-Based Facility Should Know About Emergency Preparedness and Planning.” She is well practiced in preparing volunteers to complete tasks on the Road to Readiness and ensuring her Responders meet deployment eligibility.
Innovative Practice Award
The Innovative Practice Award is present to a Responder or Unit Administrator that has initiated and carried out an innovative activity over the past year that has helped build on the unit's and health department's efforts, engaged unit Responders in the process and contributed to strengthening the community's public health, preparedness, or response system.
Maggie Kunz is the Unit Administrator of the Carroll County Maryland Responds Unit. Under Maggie’s leadership, the Carroll County Health Department initiated and carried out an innovative activity that helped build on the unit's and health department's efforts, engaged unit Responders in the process and contributed to strengthening the community's public health, preparedness, or response system. On August 2, 2014, the Carroll County Health Department held two mass vaccination clinics to provide free immunizations for children entering kindergarten and 7th grade. Six Maryland Responders helped staff the clinics and gave shots and met public health staff.
Behind the Scenes Award
The Behind the Scenes Award recognizes a Responder or Unit Administrator who represents a strong, yet unseen force which has a profound effect in their environment. It recognizes those who contribute solid and consistent devotion to the job and the team with their efforts behind the scenes.
Kelly joined Maryland Responds in 2014 as a leader in Worcester County, member of the Advisory Council, planner for the 2015 Conference and an all around paragon. Kelly receives this award because she is dedicated to helping others, help others. As a member of the Advisory Council, she has worked directly with the state program to identify more volunteer opportunities for responders. Critical to Kelly’s success is her willingness to work on big picture planning in conjunction with smaller, behind the scenes logistics. As a unit administrator, she’s advocated for more trainings and activities on the Eastern shore. To help others grow, Kelly is generous in sharing her lessons learned. It is because of this that she has been instrumental in organizing this conference – from brainstorming speaker nominations to coordinating our conference heroes. Any part of this conference that feels particularly tailored to your experience – Kelly’s most likely taken the time to put together.
Rebecca Bergeron also receives the “Behind the Scenes Award” because of the steps she’s taken to prepare for her role to provide support on a greater level during disasters. Rebecca joined Maryland Responds in 2014. Very quickly throughout the year, she completed each step on the road to readiness to prepare for deployment. In addition to our minimum requirements, Rebecca’s gone above and beyond and taken courses that will help her hone her skills as a mental health responder, such as Community Psychological First Aid. She’s also participated in an exercise to familiarize with emergency response. She volunteered to help a community health clinic test their active shooter emergency plans. Rebecca’s also expressed interest in becoming a trainer to help others learn about psychological first aid. And when it came time to respond, Rebecca showed us she was willing to help Baltimore City during the recent unrest by providing mental health support.
Excellence in Volunteer Engagement
The Excellence in Volunteer Engagement award is presented to a Maryland Responds MRC Unit that has successfully implemented innovative and creative solutions for keeping volunteers engaged year-round and executed successful strategies for securing resources for long-term sustainability.
Giselle Bonilla, Howard County MRC Unit
Giselle Bonilla is the Howard County MRC Unit Administrator. Giselle is truly dedicated to the volunteers of Howard County. She is committed to identifying local volunteer opportunities that will prepare volunteers for responding to the needs of their community. She is constantly seeking new strategies to develop meaningful initiatives that support community medical and public health volunteerism. Giselle is deserves this award for her ability to engage the Howard County MRC volunteers through trainings, exercise and public health preparedness activities and for her dedication to the community.
G. Lawrence Hogue and Barbara Logan
G. Lawrence Hogue, Assistant Dean of Professional Affairs at the UMES School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Barbara Logan, the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator of the Somerset County Health Department have worked to demonstrate leadership and excellence in volunteer engagement for emergency preparedness. Their collaboration brings together a school within the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the health department. These two individuals have organized multiple emergency drills to help prepare health professions students and practitioners for unexpected emergencies. They have involved others such as the police department and media.
Outstanding Response Partner Organization
The Outstanding Response Partner Award is presented to a group that has helped support the Maryland Responds MRC in carrying out its mission and has provided opportunities to participate in public health, preparedness and response activities. The exemplary partner has played a role in helping to raise Maryland Responds MRC awareness and foster its integration into the local community's public health and preparedness infrastructure.
The Maryland Board of Pharmacy Emergency Preparedness Task Force
The Emergency Preparedness Task Force includes pharmacists, pharmacy students, retirees and volunteers. The members are Don Taylor, Sajal Roy, Janet Seeds, April Tepfer, Arnold Honkofsky, Bart Regan, Charmaine Rochester, Cynthia Anderson, G. Lawrence Hogue, Hoai-An Truong, Jennifer Thomas, LaVerne Naesea, Lynette Bradley-Baker and Reid Zimmer. In the last year, the Task Force has participated in countless activities promoting emergency preparedness and Maryland Responds. Around the state, members of the Task Force have visited universities to explain the role of student health professionals in emergency preparedness and lead Point of Dispensing exercises for the students. Each time, the Task Force encourages students to sign up for Maryland Responds. When they are not busy preparing future leaders, they are helping to write preparedness plans. You may recognize the group from the 2013 Strategic National Stockpile exercise when they helped the state exercise plans for distributing essential medical materiel. Since then, they’ve diligently worked on documentation for the Strategic National Stockpile as well as preparing the facility for future use. In addition, they played an essential role in today’s lunchtime POD drill exercise.Don Taylor, Sajal Roy, Janet Seeds, April Tepfer, Arnold Honkofsky, Bart Regan, Charmaine Rochester, Cynthia Anderson, G. Lawrence Hogue, Hoai-An Truong, Jennifer Thomas, LaVerne Naesea, Lynette Bradley-Baker and Reid Zimmer. In the last year, the Task Force has participated in countless activities promoting emergency preparedness and Maryland Responds. Around the state, members of the Task Force have visited universities to explain the role of student health professionals in emergency preparedness and lead Point of Dispensing exercises for the students. Each time, the Task Force encourages students to sign up for Maryland Responds. When they are not busy preparing future leaders, they are helping to write preparedness plans. You may recognize the group from the 2013 Strategic National Stockpile exercise when they helped the state exercise plans for distributing essential medical materiel. Since then, they’ve diligently worked on documentation for the Strategic National Stockpile as well as preparing the facility for future use. In addition, they played an essential role in today’s lunchtime POD drill exercise.
Thank you for your service to Maryland and for serving as a best practice for all Maryland Responders.