There is no better time to be trained in disaster response

From hurricanes to COVID-19, public health practitioners work together to solve some of the world's most pressing emergencies and disasters.

What is Gillings on the Ground?

Gillings on the Ground combines cohort-based learning with interdisciplinary training to develop a team of students primed with the skills – and the structure and coordination within the Gillings School – to work with communities in disaster preparedness and relief.

The program features a 6-week training program or “mini-course” in the fall semester that cultivates skills focused on various aspects of disaster relief and community engagement. Following the completion of the training program, trainees will be awarded a certificate of completion and connected with community partners to complete disaster-related service opportunities as a cohort, both locally and in areas hit by disaster.

For the spring semester, Gillings on the Ground has partnered with UNC-Wilmington, Appalachian State University, New Hanover County Public Health Department and the American Red Cross to offer an opportunity to participate in fieldwork-specific didactic sessions and a hands-on shelter simulation. Once students complete the spring didactic sessions and the shelter simulation, they can become American Red Cross volunteers through a streamlined application process.

Once participants complete the Gillings on the Ground trainings, they will have the foundation and knowledge to volunteer and more effectively engage in disaster relief efforts. We welcome any students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members interested in disaster response to join us this fall!

Fall 2021 Training Program Schedule

Week One: Emergencies in Public Health
Thursday, October 14, 6:30-8 p.m. ET via Zoom

  • Quintana Stewart, Orange County health director
  • Amy Belflower Thomas, director of Community Assessment and Strategy at the North Carolina Institute for Public Health (NCIPH)

Week Two: Disaster Preparedness
Tuesday, October 19, 5:30-7 p.m. ET via Zoom

  • Ashley Stoop, director of Policy, Planning and Preparedness at Albemarle Regional Health Services
  • Bennet Waters, assistant professor in Health Policy and Management

Week Three: Disaster Response
Tuesday, October 26, 5:30-7 p.m. ET via Zoom

  • Kimberly Clement, program manager of the Healthcare Preparedness Program at the NCDHHS
  • Bill Gentry, director of the Community Preparedness and Disaster Management Certificate Program and associate professor of Health Policy and Management

Week Four: Disaster Recovery
Tuesday, November 2, 5:30-7 p.m. ET via Zoom

  • Pastor Anthony Gibson, senior pastor of Peletah Ministries
  • Dr. Dawn Baldwin-Gibson, executive pastor of Peletah Ministries and superintendent of Peletah Academic Center for Excellence
  • Andrew Loeb Shoenig, partnership manager at Rural Forward NC

Week Five: Disaster Mitigation
Tuesday, November 9, 5:30-7 p.m. ET via Zoom

  • Sheila Davies, Dare County public health director
  • Matthew Simon, senior data and GIS analyst at the North Carolina Institute for Public Health

Week 6: Lactation and Infant Feeding in Emergencies
Thursday, November 18, 6:30-8 p.m. ET via Zoom

  • Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist, assistant professor in Maternal and Child Health, affiliate faculty for the Carolina Global Breastfeeding (CGBI) Lactation and lead for the Infant Feeding in Emergencies (LIFE) initiative
  • Lourdes Santaballa Mora, IBCLC, IYCFS, B.A., Executive Director, Alimentación Segura Infantil (ASI) Puerto Rico

Spring 2022 Training Program Schedule

Gillings on the Ground is collaborating with University of North Carolina-Wilmington and the American Red Cross to organize a series of didactic sessions that build on the fall sessions and provide more technical, hands-on aspects of disaster response. The spring sessions will culminate in a one-day shelter simulation at UNC-Wilmington’s campus led by American Red Cross leadership and New Hanover County’s emergency management team. After successful completion of all spring didactic sessions and the shelter simulation, participants will be eligible to become American Red Cross volunteers through a streamlined application process.

Week One: Emergency Management Teams at Public Health Departments
Monday, January 31, 5:30-7 p.m. ET via Zoom

  • Sarah Pickhardt, Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator for Orange County Health Department
  • Victoria Hudson, Environmental Health Director for Orange County Health Department

Week Two: Psychological First Aid Part I
Monday, February 7, 5:30-7 p.m. ET via Zoom

  • Roxanne Taylor: American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health lead
  • Gail Ward: American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health volunteer

Week Three: Psychological First Aid Part II
Monday, February 14, 5:30-7 p.m. ET via Zoom

  • Roxanne Taylor: American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health lead
  • Gail Ward: American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health volunteer

Week Four: Lactation and Infant Feeding in Emergency Shelters
Monday, February 21, 5:30-7 p.m. ET via Zoom

  • Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist, assistant professor in Maternal and Child Health, affiliate faculty for the Carolina Global Breastfeeding (CGBI) Lactation and lead for the Infant Feeding in Emergencies (LIFE) initiative

Week Five: Shelter Simulation Q&A
Monday, February 28, 5:30-7 p.m. ET via Zoom

  • Barry Cuthbertson, American Red Cross sheltering lead for Eastern North Carolina

Shelter Simulation Field Experience
Saturday, March 26, UNC-Wilmington’s Campus

  • Led by American Red Cross volunteers, New Hanover Public Health Department’s Emergency Management team, and Norma Escobar, lactation consultant and Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Manager for the New Hanover County Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program
  • Lunch and transportation from UNC-Chapel Hill to UNC-Wilmington provided.
			

Spring 2022 Week 5: Sheltering Fundamentals

Listen to Barry Cuthbertson speak about sheltering in emergency situations.

Watch the video
			

Spring 2022: Week 4: Lactation and Infant Feeding in Shelters

Listen to Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist speak about lactation and infant feeding in emergency shelters.

Watch the video
			

Spring 2022 Week 3: Psychological First Aid Part II

Listen to Roxanne Taylor and Gail Ward speak about psychological first aid and becoming an American Red Cross volunteer.

Watch the video
			

Spring 2022 Week 2: Psychological First Aid Part I

Listen to Roxanne Taylor and Gail Ward speak about psychological first aid and becoming an American Red Cross volunteer.

Watch the video
			

Spring 2022 Week 1: Emergency Management Teams at Local Public Health Departments

Listen to Sarah Pickhardt and Victoria Hudson speak about the role of local public health departments in emergency response and management.

Watch the video
			

Fall 2021 Week 1: Emergencies in Public Health

Listen to Quintana Stewart, Orange County Health Director, and Amy Belflower Thomas, director of Community Assessment and Strategy at the North Carolina Institute for Public Health, speak about emergencies in public health.

Watch the video
			

Fall 2021 Week 2: Disaster Preparedness

Listen to Ashley Stoop, director of Policy, Planning and Preparedness at Albemarle Regional Health Services, speak about disaster preparedness.

Watch the video
			

Fall 2021 Week 3: Disaster Response

Listen to Kimberly Clement, program manager of the Healthcare Preparedness Program at the NCDHHS, and Bill Gentry, director of the Community Preparedness and Disaster Management Certificate Program and associate professor of Health Policy and Management, speak about disaster response.

Watch the video
			

Fall 2021 Week 4: Disaster Recovery

Listen to Dr. Dawn Baldwin-Gibson, Pastor Anthony Gibson, and Andy Shoenig speak about disaster recovery.

Watch the video
			

Fall 2021 Week 5: Disaster Mitigation

Listen to Matthew Simon and Sheila Davies speak about disaster mitigation.

Watch the video
			

Fall 2021 Week 6: Lactation and Infant Feeding in Emergencies

Listen to Aunchalee Palmquist and Lordes Santaballa Mora speak about lactation and infant feeding in emergencies.

Watch the video

Interested in joining our 2022-2023 cohort or collaborating with Gillings on the Ground?

Email Arielle Moss (amoss888@ad.unc.edu) for any questions or concerns!

Sponsored by the Carolina Center for Public Service and the Gillings School