In 2017, many natural and manmade disasters affected communities across the United States. Each of these disasters posed many public health challenges, including funding, interagency, and workforce issues. Two subject matter experts,  Director Cheryl Petersen-Kroeber from the Minnesota Department of Health’s Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response and Deputy Director Harry Bruce (Jeff) Jeffries Jr. from the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Division of Health Protection, share their lessons learned from these disasters and provide insight on public health concerns that need to be addressed. This is Segment 1 of a two-part interview.

Click here to listen to Segment 2.

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Andrew R. Roszak

Andrew Roszak, JD, MPA, EMT-P, serves as the executive director for the Institute for Childhood Preparedness and as an advisor for the Domestic Preparedness Journal. He is the author of the Preparing for the Unexpected Series of books, which includes “Preschool Preparedness for an Active Shooter.” He has spent over 20 years working on emergency preparedness, response, and recovery issues. He is admitted to the Illinois and District of Columbia Bars and is admitted to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. Find him on Twitter: @AndyRoszak.

Cheryl Petersen-Kroeber

Cheryl Petersen-Kroeber is the director of the Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). She has over 20 years of experience in governmental public health, and has worked in emergency preparedness since 2003. In addition to her leadership and policy development responsibilities at MDH, she also serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, where she teaches several courses to students enrolled in the Regent’s Certificate in Emergency Preparedness program. She is the current member at large for the ASTHO Directors of Public Health Preparedness Executive Committee.

Harry Bruce (Jeff) Jeffries Jr.

Harry Bruce (Jeff) Jeffries Jr., PA, MA, is deputy director at the Division of Health Protection, Georgia Department of Public Health. Active member of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) Directors of Public Health Preparedness (DPHP) since 2009, he is currently serving as the chair of the Directors of Public Health Preparedness Executive Committee. He is the DPHP representative for the Joint Policy Work Group of the National Emergency Management Association, ASTHO, and the Governors’ Homeland Security Advisors Council. He has over 40 years of healthcare experience as a licensed practical nurse, emergency medical technician, paramedic, Air Force medic, and physician assistant. Retiring from the Air Force in 2002 after 26 years, he was the senior planner when he joined public health in 2002. He has served as the director of Public Health Preparedness and Response; director of Preparedness Alignment and Federal Liaison Activities; and acting deputy director of Health Protection. He completed Harvard University’s “Leadership in Crisis” course in 2009, the Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s Naval Post-Graduate School’s Executive Leaders Program in April 2012, and University of Georgia’s School of Public Health’s Public Health inaugural Leadership Academy in 2013.

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