Emergency Planning for Healthcare

In the healthcare, three things are certain -- all emergencies are local, the need to train and test is continuous due to high staff turnover, and when the bad thing happens, people will automatically migrate towards hospitals and clinics.

Keep your staff up-to-date in the Hospital Incident Command system through regular training and realistic exercises. Our team also assists with planning, policy review, and regulatory survey prep.


Training Offerings for Healthcare


Assisting Individuals in Crisis, a CISM-Approved Instructor Course

Crisis intervention is NOT psychotherapy; it is a specialized acute emergency mental health intervention that requires specialized training. As physical first aid is to surgery, crisis intervention is to psychotherapy. Thus, crisis intervention is sometimes called "emotional first aid".

  • Teaches participants the fundamentals of and a specific protocol for individual crisis intervention
  • Designed for anyone who desires to increase their knowledge of individual (one-on-one) crisis intervention techniques in the fields of business and industry, crisis intervention, disaster response, education, emergency services, employee assistance, healthcare, homeland security, mental health, military, spiritual care, and traumatic stress

This is a two-day International Critical Incident Stress Foundation course taught by Aimee.

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Group Crisis Intervention, a CISM-Approved Instructor Course

  • Presents the core elements of a comprehensive, systematic, and multi-component crisis intervention curriculum
  • Prepare participants to understand a wide range of crisis intervention services

This training outlines the fundamentals of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), and participants will leave with the knowledge and tools to provide several group crisis interventions.

This is a two-day International Critical Incident Stress Foundation course taught by Aimee.

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Health Equity

Health equity simply means everyone has an equal shot at living their best possible life. Health equity identifies barriers to achieving optimum health and works to eliminate them so that all people have access to the same foundational services, levels of care, and basic social determinants of health. Often, health equity is best addressed through policy that ensures that health equity is being considered when decision-makers are voting on issues that may have an impact on population health.

A Health In All Policies (HIAP) approach is how Optima EP addresses health equity with the organizations it serves, ensuring that health equity will be embedded throughout all layers of your agency. Contact us to learn more about the training and policy support we offer.

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COVID Recovery Series

Living and working through a global pandemic has taken a toll on our personal and professional lives. As we move toward recovery, it is vital to name, acknowledge, and integrate some of the challenges and struggles we've all faced. This 90-minute session will explore concepts such as traumatic and cumulative stress reactions, personal and collective grief, honoring loss, and celebrating individual and team resilience to answer the question, "Now what?". We will include some tools and resources to help you and your team strategically and confidently thrive post-pandemic.

Facilitated Peer Discussion:

Come to share your thoughts and reflections on your COVID story in a safe environment with your peers through a facilitated discussion with a focus on questions such as: 

  • What role(s) did you have during the COVID response?
  • What were some of the hardest or most challenging moments during the past two years?
  • Where are you feeling "stuck"?
  • What did you learn about yourself or your team during the response?

Explore strategies for recovery and building resilience such as transitioning, reframing, and managing expectations. (60-90-minute session)

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CMS Partner Virtual Exercises

  • Complete a functional, community-based exercise in your own facility with no travel required
  • Intended for healthcare coalitions or corporate agencies with multiple physical locations
  • Can accommodate up to 50 participating organizations at one time

Package includes:

  • Design Team Meetings (up to three, if desired)
  • Registration and Marketing Materials
  • Trusted Agent Prep Meeting (30 minutes)
  • Evaluator Prep Meeting (30 minutes)
  • Virtual Exercise Facilitation (2 hours)
  • Completion of an HSEEP Compliant After-Action Report within 60 Days

Sample exercises include:

  • The Big Bad Thing (cyber security)
  • Operation Open Door (evacuation and receiving facilities)
  • Not your Typical Pumpkin Spice (extreme weather and power outage)
  • Operation Shelter in Place (hazardous materials incident)

We will customize your training to meet your design scenario.

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Health Literacy

Throughout the spectrum of what is known as healthcare, the myriad of agencies that provide services or care to the public is immense. Each agency, in order to be as successful as possible, needs to be able to articulate its mission, services, care, education, and guidance to the clients they serve in a way that is clearly received, understood, and can be properly acted upon. This is especially difficult in healthcare with the technical medical jargon that is often used.

Health Literacy is a standardized, evidence-based practice that strives to simplify how healthcare speaks to its clients and ensures understanding, thus leading to better patient outcomes. Optima EP provides a variety of ways to embed health literacy into your practices and programs.

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Family Assistance Center & Reunification

When major incidents or disasters happen, loved ones can get separated from each other. Unfortunately, when fatalities occur, positive identifications need to be made so that families can be notified and reunited with their loved ones to start the process of honoring, healing, and recovery.

Family assistance and reunification centers follow a standardized process under the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to ensure that this process runs smoothly and efficiently, minimizes error, and provides optimum liability protection under local, regional, state, and federal emergency declarations. Optima EP provides didactic training as well as exercises to ensure your agency or jurisdiction understands the functions of this important emergency response resource.

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Hospital or Nursing Home Incident Command (NHICS)

Have new leadership, or need a refresher? Emergency response thrives on an organized, flexible, scalable system with clear roles and responsibilities. Learn the basics of the Incident Command System or more complex concepts such as establishing incident objectives, unified command, and incident action planning.

No Incident Command System training is complete without the ability to practice key concepts. Plan to include a 1-1/2- hour tabletop exercise in your training.

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Succession Planning

The top businesses begin planning for succession well before a notice of retirement or letter of resignation is on their doorstep. Your staff are your most valuable asset, and not capturing the institutional knowledge of key staff who leave your agency can cost your business thousands in re-training, orientation, and lowered productivity. Let our team assist with developing a simple succession plan with tools that actually work!

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Ethics Planning

Is your agency founded on a core of ethics? How do you know? In alignment with health equity, do you follow a process for making decisions that are ethics-based? How do you handle complaints from your customers? Are they reviewed in a standardized way through an ethics lens? Let our team assist you in developing an ethics plan that will complement your health equity plan, ensuring your agency is built on a foundation of ethical practices and principles.

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Mass Clinic/POD Planning

Most people are now familiar with the term mass clinic or Point of Dispensing (POD). Public Health, and the healthcare system in general, have utilized this concept to administer high volumes of vaccines to people throughout the pandemic. Our team can assist you with POD planning, including site assessment, floor plan layout, security plan, and throughput estimates. Let us help you customize a solid plan for your community.

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Aimee and Brian are both knowledgeable and empathetic. Their COVID-19 recovery program provides a safe and beneficial space to reflect on one's experiences in responding professionally to a stressful event. It also offers helpful tools to manage current stressors and improve resiliency to future events. This program was so helpful that it was repeatedly requested by our stakeholders throughout COVID recovery.

Jennifer Behnke, MPH, MEP
Coordinator of the South Central Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition

From a personal and professional standpoint, healthcare responses can be emotionally and mentally crippling. Aimee and Brian help shed light and provide tools, on the "Now what!?" of how to continue to be quality care providers and still be human.

Robbie Deede, RN BSN
Coordinator of the North Central Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition