During last month’s Kincaid fire in Northern California, medical leaders evacuated 110 patients from the Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center – the second evacuation since 2017. Stephen Parodi, MD, associate executive director at The Permanente Medical Group, gave a behind-the-scenes look at the decision to evacuate in a recent CalMatters article, which questioned the effectiveness of California’s emergency alert system.
During the 2017 fires, patients were quickly evacuated in private vehicles and buses because of the lack of warning. The team learned from the experience and this year relied on its own weather and fire map information to proactively begin evacuating hours before the official evacuation call. In both cases, all patients were evacuated safely.
Dr. Parodi leads an emergency management team with oversight for more than 4 million patients and 21 hospitals within Kaiser Permanente Northern California. In a situation room, they are constantly assessing maps of the fire and wind direction, as well as speaking with local authorities. The team has already begun debriefs about the response to be even better prepared for the future.
Recently, Dr. Parodi penned an op-ed in the New York Times about the role of medical leaders in addressing climate change and wildfires.
To read the full article, visit the CalMatters website.