Below is a list of past projects, programs, and courses carried out by the IDM team:

Ebola Seminars

When new and emerging infectious diseases begin spreading globally, there is a significant onus on clinicians and public health officials to rapidly educate themselves on the disease progression and implement treatment protocols. The Georgia Department of Public Health partnered with the Institute for Disaster Management to implement an Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) training program in Georgia. The program was developed to ensure all healthcare personnel who may encounter an infected individual could identify a suspected case, understand mechanisms to protect themselves, isolate appropriate patients, inform necessary organizations, and facilitate patient transport to definitive care. In total, 1220 individuals representing 480 healthcare organizations participated in at least one of the 14 seminars offered.

Georgia Healthcare Coalition Assistance Program (GHCAP)


The Institute for Disaster Management served as the fiduciary agent for Georgia’s fourteen healthcare coalitions and one specialty healthcare coalition from 2018-2022.

Established in 2018, the GHCAP aids coalitions across the state in supply and equipment procurement, event, training and exercise planning and execution, and more. During the project, IDM worked to enhance the healthcare coalitions’ ability to respond to disasters and stay prepared for what might be next by supporting the coalition’s goods and services procurement activities.

Georgia Healthcare Community Regional Emergency Preparedness Exercise Program

From 2006-2018, IDM worked with the Georgia Department of Public Health to administer the Georgia Healthcare Community Regional Emergency Preparedness Exercise Program. The project’s goal was to assist hospitals in drafting, revising, implementing, testing, and evaluating their Emergency Operations Plans via disaster exercises. In 2015, the emphasis of planning efforts was shifted to focusing on hospitals to one that incorporated the continuum of healthcare and its community partners. This approach expanded the program beyond satisfying hospital regulatory requirements to fostering community relationships, ensuring continuity of operations, and conducting realistic disaster training. IDM was able to incorporate new partners into planning meetings, deconflict plans, and pool limited resources in order to conduct larger, more realistic disaster exercises. In 2016, the US Department of Health and Human Services recognized the value and quality of the program in Georgia and identified the IDM program as the national standard.

Georgia Long Term Care Emergency Preparedness Educational Program

The mission of the Georgia LTCEP Educational Program was to provide caregivers and administrators with critical knowledge, skills and abilities related to disaster and emergency management decision-making skills by providing preparedness and disaster exercise training to CMS certified long term care facility staff members. We offered basic, advanced, and disaster exercise courses. Each course features an interactive session with the Georgia State Fire Marshal’s Office covering the survey process and E-tag trends in Georgia.

Click here to access an additional page with course resources.

Emergency Preparedness Kits
The GALTCEPEP was granted the opportunity to provide an Emergency Preparedness (EP) Kit to all certified long term care facilities who participated in the program prior to September 30, 2020. Each EP Kit has items that are useful whether the certified facility is sheltering-in-place or evacuating its residents and staff.
More information on the EP Kits

Click here to download pdfs of the Georgia Long Term Care Emergency Preparedness Educational Program Newsletters.

Highly Infectious Disease Plan and Exercise Program

The Institute for Disaster Management (IDM) worked to revise, educate, and test the capacity of the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Highly Infectious Disease (HID) Plan. A core planning team of subject matter experts partnered with IDM to ensure the revised HID Plan was robust, deliberate, and executable. Existing planning was systematically reviewed and revised using knowledge gained from the 2014 EVD outbreak and the 2020 SARS CoV-2 pandemic, along with other governmental and non-governmental plans and resources.

Once the HID Plan was drafted, IDM delivered seminars to state and local stakeholders to present the updated plan and elicit feedback. This pertinent feedback was used to further update and revise the plan.

IDM conducted a state-wide, Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program compliant tabletop exercise utilizing the newly drafted HID plan. Following the exercise, IDM conducted a comprehensive After Action Report to compile feedback about what went well during the exercise and what planning gaps were identified. Utilizing this feedback, IDM edited the plan further before the final HID Plan was submitted.

To watch the HID Seminar and access video resources click here. 

Infectious Disease Transportation Network (IDTN) Training Courses

Following the 2014 Ebola outbreak and subsequent transport and treatment of Ebola Virus Disease patients in Atlanta, GA, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) created the Infectious Disease Network. This network consists of two groups – the Infectious Disease Hospital Network and the Infectious Disease Transportation Network (IDTN). Both groups were formed to coordinate and conduct the transport of highly infectious disease patients and to prepare for these transports through procurement of specialized equipment, training, education, and performance assessments.

From 2016-2020, IDM was awarded a grant from DPH to develop, teach, and train emergency medical services personnel how to safely transport and treat highly infectious disease patients. The training program included four different courses on the use of high-level personal protective equipment donning / doffing, infectious disease precautions, and ambulance draping and decontamination. These courses were conducted all across the State of Georgia to over 550 first respond.

Operation Wesley (HHS Region 4 Ebola Exercise Program)

Following the 2014 Ebola Outbreak, the Georgia Department of Public Health formed the Georgia Infectious Disease Network (IDN) to train, equip, and coordinate healthcare facilities and EMS agencies to identify, isolate, and inform when presented with a highly infectious disease (HID) patient. Since then, the number of course offerings and clinical providers choosing to participate in Ebola Virus Disease trainings and exercises have significantly decreased. This is especially significant for frontline providers who are not as immersed in highly infectious disease preparedness as designated healthcare assessment and treatment facilities. The purpose of the exercise program was to assess and evaluate treatment, assessment, and frontline providers’ capacity to handle a large influx of patients presenting with Ebola-like symptoms and a positive travel history.

Originally designed for Georgia, the exercise program evolved to incorporate seven states within US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Region IV. Exercise play included having Georgia’s treatment and assessment beds at full capacity in addition to transferring multiple patients from surrounding states to Emory University Hospital’s Serious Communicable Diseases Unit. Georgia’s Infectious Disease Transportation Network services also participated in the exercise program and Phoenix Air Group simulated flying a patient to a Regional Ebola Treatment Facility in a separate HHS region.

State of Georgia’s Crisis Care Response Plan

The Institute for Disaster Management (IDM) was contracted by Georgia Department of Public Health to develop the Crisis Care Response Plan for the State of Georgia. A core planning team of subject matter experts was assembled to build consensus on the ethical conundrums surrounding the state-level allocation of care and resources during a scarce resource environment.

IDM identified and compiled various governmental and non-governmental plans and resources to inform the creation of Georgia’s plan. Together the core planning team drafted the plan, updated and revised based on feedback, and submitted the completed Crisis Care Response Plan to the state for their use.

Evidence Basis for Mass Casualty Medical Preparedness from Limited Nuclear or Radiologic Device Incidents

This project focuses on providing data for medical and health system preparedness to reduce morbidity and mortality from limited nuclear and radiologic device incidents. Crises such as nuclear or radiological incidents can result in high number of casualties. Emergency medical staff often lack the necessary knowledge on how to effectively respond to these incidents. Additionally, they demonstrate reluctance to respond to these types of incidents, much more than for other potentially hazardous incidents such as epidemics. Such reluctance of the medical personnel tasked with the initial response is likely to have severe implications hampering any effective response. Despite similar risks the emergency response communities in western countries have developed different approaches to radiological preparedness of the health sector in general and specifically of emergency responders in the pre-hospital and hospital settings. Studies have identified deficiencies in multiple preparedness areas including the understanding of relative risk, identifying medical needs, and relevant necessary education and training. The project’s goal is to identify the most effective methods to improve preparedness of the healthcare sector in general and designated hospitals.

Bloom and Doom: Understanding Social-Ecological Risks of Harmful Algal Blooms

Bloom and Doom: Understanding Social-Ecological Risks of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) is a grant project looking into HABs and their effects. HABs result in toxic water events that can poses risks to people and ecosystems by threatening water quality. HABs are and will continue to increase in frequency and severity as nutrient runoff and global warming continue. Despite this, HABs are not monitored federally, and despite examples of success in other states, Georgia has not yet taken enough steps to understand, monitor, and respond to HAB events. This project investigates why HABs occur in some inland bodies of water over others; what social and ecological actors are present and how they interact with the water body; who may be disproportionately exposed to HABs; and how stakeholders are identifying solutions and managing their risks. This is accomplished using a variety of methods. Pictures highlight field-based surveys conducted with water body users for 10 non-consecutive weekends from May through August 2022.

This project is being conducted in the Athens, Georgia area from 2022-2023 with support from a 2022 Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Award, “Bloom and Doom: Is Increasing Risk of Harmful Algal Blooms an Inevitable Consequence of Global Change? Assessing Risk and Exploring Strategies in Georgia from Biological and Social Perspectives.” Research team members include IDM’s Dr. Michelle Ritchie (College of Public Health); Dr. Cory Struthers (School of Public and International Affairs); Dr. Peter Hazelton (Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources); and Drs. Alex Strauss and Krista Capps (Odum School of Ecology). The research team also includes more than a dozen undergraduate and graduate students.


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