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VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System

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Local Veterans Affairs employees attend Homeland Security health care decision program

June 21, 2011

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Will Ackerman -- Public Affairs Officer

VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System

4101 Woolworth Avenue (00P)

Omaha, NE  68105

Office:  (402) 995-4719

Cell:  (402) 332-6780






June 21, 2011


Nebraska Health Care Professionals First in Veterans Affairs

to Attend Homeland Security Training


OMAHA, Neb. — Eleven health care professionals from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System were the first in the Veterans Healthcare Administration to attend an integrated training program at the Center for Domestic Preparedness, in Anniston, Ala, June 12 to 17.


The CDP is operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. It is the only federally chartered weapons of mass destruction training facility in the nation.


The VA employees who attended include:  Will Ackerman, public affairs officer; Jackie Bieker, assistant human relations chief; Seth Burmeister, safety program manager; Dan Green, assistant chief information officer; Terry Hunt, inventory management chief; Ron Jones, engineering; Kirk Kay, chief financial officer; Mark Kula, police chief; Katie Landwehr, acting associate director; Diana Nordboe, emergency management coordinator; Lesley Royal, pandemic flu prevention coordinator; and Karen Uher, a registered nurse.


They attended the Healthcare Leadership for Mass Casualty Incidents (HCL) course, which is a four-day, 32-hour program that provides healthcare responders an opportunity to address realistic decisions regarding an all-hazards disaster in a facility-based exercise. The course is a combination of lecture and exercises, providing responders a foundation on which to make critical decisions during a fast-paced final exercise.


The program was also the pilot for the CDP’s integration of three courses: HCL, Hospital Emergency Response Training for Mass Casualty Incidents, and Emergency Medical Operations for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Incidents Hands-On Training for CBRNE Incidents.


The CDP develops and delivers advanced training for emergency response providers, emergency managers, and other government officials from state, local and tribal governments. The CDP provides more than 50 training courses that focus on incident management, mass casualty response and emergency response to a catastrophic natural disaster or terrorist act.


Resident training at the CDP includes healthcare and public health courses at the Noble Training Facility, the nation’s only hospital dedicated to training health care professionals or their agency.


The VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System proudly serves more than 167,660 veterans in Nebraska, western Iowa and portions of Kansas and Missouri. Omaha’s medical center is an inpatient facility and also a large outpatient clinic for primary and specialty care. A Community Living Center is in Grand Island. There are community-based outpatient clinics in Lincoln, Grand Island, North Platte, Holdrege, Norfolk, Bellevue and Shenandoah, Iowa, and an outreach clinic in O’Neill, Neb. For more information, visit