Leadership Profiles

MHPC Staff

Hannah Gompers, MA, EMT-B
Assistant Healthcare Preparedness Coordinator - Finance/Admin

 

Bio

Hannah began as a volunteer in 2013, but became increasingly active in the group following graduation from her Master’s program. Her interest in emergency management stemmed from her time spent as an EMT-B with Medic in Mecklenburg County, which led to pursuing her graduate degree. Within that time, she studied and wrote her thesis on disaster planning within the elderly population. She hopes to be able to use that experience and knowledge to further the mission of MHPC. She holds a BA from the College of Charleston in English and a MA in Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness from American Military University.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Finance/Grant Management
  • Continuing Care Project
  • Digital Media Engagement
  • Student Intern Management
  • Education Coordinator

 

Scott Hess, MPA, EMT-P
Assistant Healthcare Preparedness Coordinator - Logistics/Operations

 

Bio

Scott’s exposure to disaster management began as a paramedic and member of a SMAT-III team. He functioned with hazardous materials, confined space/structural collapse, and special events teams. He holds a BS in biology and a BA in English from Appalachian State University, as well as an MPA with a concentration in Emergency Management from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Hospital First Receiver Project Management
  • Operations/Logistics Coordination
  • Capability Assessment Project (pending)
  • SMAT III Liason
  • Volunteer Management
Kariena (KC) Bernesser BS, EMT-P
Assistant Healthcare Preparedness Coordinator – Exercise / Education

Bio

Kariena started in Emergency Medical Services as a volunteer with Matthews Fire and Rescue department in 2000. This spurred Kariena’s interest in the EMS field and began her career at Mecklenburg EMS Agency in 2001. During the 15 years at MEDIC she worked in a high paced and rapidly growing community and EMS system. Over the course of the years she worked as a 911 dispatcher, EMT basic and spent the past 9 years as a Paramedic as well as assist with training at MEDIC. She has had opportunities to work in a variety of different venues and high profile events. She has worked as a Special Operation Paramedic attached to the local law enforcement for special missions and was the training officer for the team. She has also trained and handled her SAR/USAR K9 until recently when the K9 was retired. She has an AAS in Electronic Engineering Technology and a BS in Emergency Disaster Management from Western Carolina University.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Exercise / Evaluation Coordination
  •  Education Coordination
  •  Deputy of Logistics/Operations Coordination
Tim O’Connell, NRP
Logistics Specialist

 

Bio

Tim started as a volunteer with the Metrolina Preparedness Coalition and SMAT Team and currently serves the region as the logistics specialist. Tim also currently works for coalition partner Mecklenburg EMS agency and has worked in public safety as a paramedic for 14 years. He is currently pursuing his BA in Emergency and Disaster Management. Tim has also deployed as an EMS Responder to Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Matthew. Tim brings his long history in prehospital medicine to the team with logistics and preparedness activities within the coalition.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Inventory Management
  • Vehicles, trailer, and equipment readiness
  • Warehouse maintenance
  • Communications testing
  • Warehouse move preparations

MHPC Steering Committee

mhpc metrolina preparedness healthcare coalition
Derrell Clark, MS – Steering Committee Chair
Hospitals

Derrell began volunteering with the Metrolina SMAT in March of 2012, feeding his passion for Emergency Preparedness and Response. Having spent many years in the Emergency Department and EMS, he decided to advance into the world of Emergency Management. With no EM job prospects in Athens, GA, throwing caution to the wind, he moved to North Carolina in May of 2012 in pursuit of a career. This left him plenty of time to gain valuable planning experience with the Metrolina SMAT prior to and during the Democratic National Convention. He completed his MS in Disaster Medicine and Management in 2013. He began his career with MHPC in October 2012 and moved to CHS EM in November 2015.  Derrell is currently the Emergency Management Specialist for CHS Mercy and CHS Rehabilitation facilities.

Emily Walmsley – Steering Committee Vice Chair
Public Health

Emily is currently the Preparedness Coordinator for Union County Division of Public Health and has worked in the Public Health sector for a total of 13 years, the last 4 and a half acting as the Preparedness Coordinator.  Through her regional Preparedness meetings, she became aware of MHPC and realized the significant role the Coalition can and potentially could play in helping to promote public health. Emily has a BS from North Carolina State University. She currently lives in Monroe and is married with three children. Her hobbies include reading, gardening, and being a soccer/basketball mom.

 

Mark Lamphiear
EMS

Mark Lamphiear first became interested in what would later be called EMS watching the TV show “Rescue 8” as a child.  In high school, he was active in a Search and Rescue Explorer Post, and attained the rank of Eagle Scout.  Prior to working in Gaston County, Mark served over 15 years working his way up the ranks in an EMS system in Oregon.  Mark was the top student in the first paramedic class in Oregon, held at the Oregon Health Sciences University in 1977-78.  As part of that training, he completed an internship with the Los Angeles City Fire Department. Mark later obtained a BS degree in Management and a Certificate in Human Resources Management from Linfield College in Oregon. Mark was hired as the Gaston County EMS Director in May of 1992.  He subsequently obtained an MBA from the McColl School of Business at Queens University in Charlotte.  He maintains numerous emergency medical and technical rescue certifications.  Mark and his wife Becky, a Social Services Administrator, have four grown children . . . two boys and two girls; a police officer, a Navy pilot, a nurse, and a detention officer . . . and five grandsons.

Jill Demuth
Long Term Care

In 1989, Jill began working with and training emergency responders at the University of Findlay’s Emergency Response Training Center. While attending college, she also joined her first volunteer fire department. Jill has not only volunteered as a firefighter, but also as an EMT-Basic and Hazardous Materials Technician. Her professional career began at a radioactive materials clean-up site, where she did safety, environmental sampling, and data work. After six years, Jill decided to focus her work solely on safety and began working at universities. For almost 12 years, she worked in all branches of safety and emergency management at three different universities. Currently, Jill is the Continuing Care Safety Officer for Carolinas Healthcare System and provides safety and emergency management support to our skilled nursing, hospice and home care facilities. She is looking forward to working with and learning from the MHPC!

Elaney Katsafanas
Emergency Management

Elaney serves as an Emergency Management Planner for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office, and is tasked with all-hazards planning, response, recovery and mitigation efforts. Elaney serves as the health, medical and human services liaison for the department, coordinating efforts specific to mass care, emergency assistance, housing and human services, public health and medical services, long term community recovery, external affairs and volunteer and donations management. Additionally, Elaney serves as the functional lead for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg All-Hazards Advisory Committee (AHAC), the Joint Health Operations Committee (JHOC), health care facility review plans, the department’s information technology programs, Charlotte’s emergency notification system and situational awareness tools and the overall readiness of the Mecklenburg County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Ms. Katsafanas maintains a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from Central Michigan University and is a graduate of the Leading Educating and Developing (LEAD) program at the University of Virginia. Elaney maintains membership in the North Carolina Emergency Management Association (NCEM) and the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). Elaney joined the department as a Grants Administrator in 2015, after previously serving in the public, private and non-profit sectors as a public relations, risk mitigation and crisis management professional.

Mike Helton
Ad Hoc 1

Mike Helton, RN, BSN, MS EM, is the Emergency Management Coordinator for Catawba Valley Medical Center. He is the chairperson of the Emergency Management Committee, HazMat Subcommittee and has oversight for hospital OSHA compliance. He works to coordinate all EM activities with key stakeholders within the county, region and state. Active in the Metrolina Healthcare Preparedness Coalition, and one of two original SMAT members still active. Prior to taking the Emergency Management Coordinator role he worked in the Emergency Department setting for 12 years as a RN.

 

Sara Price
Ad Hoc 2

Sara has worked at the Sheriff’s Office for 17 years. She spent the first 10 years in the 911/Communications center, the last several years of which, she was the training officer.

In Feb. 2010, Sara transferred to the position of Crime Prevention Officer. This position is attached to and provides support services for the Criminal Investigations Division. As part of her duties she is also the Crime Stoppers Coordinator, audio/visual technician, Neighborhood Watch Coordinator, access control administrator for her department and detention center, medicine drop manager, agency photographer, and the administrator of several other community programs.

In May 2014, Sara was promoted to Sergeant. In addition to the duties of the Crime Prevention Officer, she also supervises the sex offender registration officer and the crime scene investigators.