COR3 trains behavioral health experts in disaster preparedness

| Monday Letter, Our People, Public Health Practice

On March 1-2, key stakeholders with the Florida Disaster Behavioral Health (DBH) Response Plan and Florida Crisis Consortium (FCC) convened at the USF College of Public Health. They met to discuss a recent deployment of the DBH Strike Team and refresh their skills.

USF’s Center for Operational Readiness, Response, & Recovery (COR3) is contracted by the Florida Department of Health (DOH) to provide logistical, training, exercise and administrative support. In this capacity, COR3 ensures DBH Strike Teams are response ready and supports the continued growth of the FCC. Comprised of behavioral health experts from across the state, the FCC outlines a plan that details activities to be implemented in the event of disaster or emergency.

Meeting attendees included members of the FCC’s leadership team: Chair Judith Hartner, MD, MPH, director of the Lee County Health Department; Michael Haney, PhD, Florida DOH division director; and, Winifred Holland, MPH, MA, LMHC, administrator of the Clay County Health Department.

Dr. Lisa Brown, a co-investigator in the college’s Center for Leadership in Public Health Practice, plays a critical role with the FCC. Additionally, COR3 Deputy Director Kevin Rolfe is a logistics chief for Florida Incident Management Teams and Director Don Mullins provides organizational expertise and operational support in disaster response.

The FCC welcomes involvement from members of the behavioral health and preparedness communities. To join them, send an e-mail to

The University of South Florida College of Public Health is the parent organization for COR3. In addition to the COR3 training, the college’s Department of Global Health offers online concentrations in disaster management and humanitarian relief that lead to a graduate certificate and MPH degree.

Submitted by Dr. Mark A. O’Neill, deputy director, Center for Operational, Readiness, Response & Recovery

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