HSS EM Solutions™
HSS EM Solutions™ Director Christopher Sonne, CHEC, leads a preeminent team of Emergency Management experts at HSS in the delivery of training, exercises, and consulting engagements for client partners across the United States. With over 15 years of industry experience, Sonne shares his depth of knowledge as a nationally renowned speaker and subject-matter expert on Emergency Management.
Before joining HSS, Sonne spent more than a decade working at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, an adult and pediatric Level I Trauma Center in suburban Chicago. There, he gained clinical experience in the Emergency Department and spent several years working within the Nursing Administration Office (Clinical Support Operations). Throughout his tenure, Sonne proved instrumental in the development of the facility’s Emergency Management and Hazardous Material Decontamination Program.
In 2009, Sonne became a Certified Hospital Emergency Coordinator (CHEC) through the Office of Public Health & Hospital Emergency Management, Medical College of Georgia. In 2011, he earned certification as a Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) instructor through the Emergency Management Institute (EMI). Other certifications include Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) instructor and Incident Command System trainer; instructor of the Center for Domestic Preparedness’s (CDP) Hospital Emergency Response Training (HERT) for Mass Casualty Incidents; Hazardous Materials Technician Level training; Advanced HazMat Life Support (AHLS); and the EMI’s Professional Development Series.
Dr. Tracy Buchman, DHA, CHPA, CHSP, is the architect and former Director of EM Solutions and currently serves as a valued Senior Consultant to the program. Dr. Buchman also holds a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the Occupational & Environmental Safety & Health Department at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in disaster planning and response, fire protection/prevention, and industrial accident prevention. Dr. Buchman received her Doctorate in Health Administration (DHA) at the University of Phoenix. She has over 25 years of professional practice, research, and teaching in the fields of Emergency Management, Safety, and Security and has held several consultant and advisory positions with the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS), and National Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) Advisory Board.
Dr. Buchman has made numerous presentations at national and international conferences and joins a team of experienced instructors at the nation’s premier all-hazards training center, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Ala., where she is an instructor for the CDP’s Hospital Emergency Response Training (HERT).
In addition, Dr. Buchman coauthored a hospital evacuation course for FEMA and is a contributing author in the Oxford American Handbook of Disaster Medicine. Dr. Buchman also served as a contributing author rewriting the Emergency Management chapter in the 6th edition of Hospital and Healthcare Security by HSS CEO Tony York and Don MacAlister.
EM Solutions Consultant Elisa Stott, CHEP, is a Certified Healthcare Emergency Professional who previously worked for Community Health Network in Indianapolis. For more than 20 years, she served as the network’s Safety Manager and as Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for five hospitals and 70-plus off-site facilities. For the network, she helped plan, conduct, and critique all emergency preparedness drills and planning; conducted safety assessments; worked with the life safety committee; and helped reduce hazardous waste and initiate recycling programs. Stott has also worked with the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), providing consulting support on the Medical Surge Related to Bombings Project, including helping conduct tabletop exercises at participating hospitals. Prior to her work with Community Health Network, Stott served as an industrial hygiene and safety consultant to various industries.
Stott holds a BS in Safety Management from Indiana State University. She is an instructor for hazardous materials and first receiver trainer on decontamination. Stott earned her Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 30-hour training certificate, has been trained in the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP), and has completed multiple Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) training courses including Incident Command System (ICS) courses.
Peers elected Stott to serve as an officer and subsequently chairperson of the District 5 Hospital Emergency Preparedness Committee board, comprising 38 hospitals and other coalition partners. She serves as chair of the planning team for the Indiana Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Symposium and has worked with agencies including Fire Services and EMS to conduct and evaluate exercises at the community level.
HSS EM Solutions Program Coordinator Benjamin Geppi provides his unique perspective on Healthcare Emergency Management by drawing upon half a decade of industry experience. Geppi provides his expertise to clients with a focus on planning, training, exercise development, and crisis communications.
Before joining HSS, Geppi developed emergency plans and exercises for Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in East Baltimore. He was also responsible for educating new hires on active shooter protocols and Emergency Management functions within the medical campus. After leaving Johns Hopkins, Geppi collaborated with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency on numerous projects with the intended goal of developing a response partnership with local businesses through the use of a Virtual Business Operations Center. Geppi assisted in the development of the first private-sector–themed tabletop in the history of the State of Maryland in conjunction with the State Emergency Management Agency. As a member of the External Outreach Team, he worked to foster better relations with local partners through the implementation of the Private Sector Integration Program in the aftermath of the Baltimore civil unrest. Most recently, Geppi collaborated with the Madison County Health Department in Richmond, Ky., to ensure the community was kept at a high degree of disaster readiness. He also participated in community-wide exercises that dealt with releases from the United States Army Chemical Weapons Stockpile Site within the county in order to help refine response strategies. He also facilitated and evaluated scheduled Continuity of Operations (COOP) exercises and formulated the Departmental Earthquake Preparedness Plan.
William “Billy” Castellano, a retired police officer from the Chicagoland area, is the Senior Tactical Instructor for HSS’s Healthcare Active Shooter Program. Castellano is also a lead law enforcement instructor with the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy for its entire force-on-force curriculum.
His background in security and law enforcement began as a member of the US Air Force Security Forces, during which he was tasked with safeguarding nuclear weapons, codes, and components. Castellano was also deployed to the Middle East multiple times in a force protection role. Later, as a police officer, he became an active law enforcement instructor and trainer in multiple disciplines including Firearms, Active Shooter Response, and Defensive Tactics. In 2005, Billy was deployed to New Orleans immediately following Hurricane Katrina to support rescue and recovery operations.
Castellano deployed to Afghanistan as an International Police Mentor for the US Department of State; he spent a year embedded with the US Army in the volatile Ghazni province. His primary responsibility was to act as an advisor to The Afghan National Police. He helped establish effective policing in a rural and austere area of the country where no functional police presence existed previously.
While overseas, Castellano was contacted by the security management of a 645-bed, Level I Trauma Center in the Chicagoland area, and was asked to aid in developing an Active Shooter/Armed Intruder response program for the facility’s security component.