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Erie County emergency response/disaster coordinator to attend disaster response workshop at White House

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Mon, Jun 10th 2024 02:15 pm

‘Building a Trauma-Informed Approach to Disaster Recovery’ 2-day event brings together disaster-response leaders from across America

Submitted by the Press Secretary to the Erie County Executive

Erie County Mental Health Emergency Disaster Response/Disaster Coordinator Sarah Bonk, LMSW, is part of a small group of leaders from around the country invited to be at the White House in Washington, D.C., this week to engage in dialogue around trauma-informed approaches to disaster recovery. Attendees represent a diverse set of organizations active in disasters, including national nonprofits, state and local governments, and community-based organizations. All attendees are organizational leaders with experience in disaster response/recovery and who are interested in opportunities to improve both survivor and employee well-being.

The two-day event, titled “Building a Trauma-Informed Approach to Disaster Recovery,” takes place Wednesday, June 12-Thursday, June 13, in the White House complex in Washington.

“Sarah Bonk has been an integral part of Erie County’s disaster response during storms and community crises, addressing issues and assisting the team in planning and carrying out response actions,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. “This is a great opportunity for her to be a part of a nationwide conversation with her peers focused on this issue, and to bring back knowledge and best practices that we can use here in Erie County.”

During this convening, Dr. Melinda J. Baldwin, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will facilitate a trauma-informed disaster response workshop for leadership, which is being piloted and implemented in federal agencies such as FEMA and SBA. Throughout the workshop, attendees will be able to share their experiences in disaster recovery, develop personal and organizational solutions for a more trauma-informed disaster response, and provide feedback to improve this workshop.

Topics will include:

√ Understanding trauma and its impact;

√ Applying trauma-informed care techniques;

√ Creating a trauma-informed organizational environment, and

√ Managing self-care during disaster recovery.

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