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 and faculty primed with the skills – and the structure and coordination within the Gillings School – to work with communities in disaster preparedness and relief. Gillings on the Ground is open to not only Gillings faculty and students, but anyone interested in learning more about disaster response and emergency management.

Gillings on the Ground is a two-semester training program with a six-week “mini-course” in the fall semester and a hands-on component in the spring semester. The six-week mini-course in the fall semester consists of didactic sessions led by Gillings faculty and community members with years of experience in disaster response and emergency preparedness. These sessions cultivate skills focused on various aspects of disaster relief, public health and community engagement, with an emphasis on health equity in disaster response. Following the completion of the fall course, trainees will be awarded a certificate of completion.

For the spring semester, Gillings on the Ground connects participants with community partners to complete disaster-related service or training opportunities as a cohort. During the spring 2022 semester, Gillings on the Ground 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 on UNC-Wilmington’s campus. Once students completed the spring didactic sessions and the shelter simulation, they were eligible to become American Red Cross volunteers through a streamlined application process.

After completing the Gillings on the Ground trainings, participants 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!

			

Gillings on the Ground Overview and Student Perspectives

Check out our video to learn more about Gillings on the Ground and student perspectives!

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Fall 2022 Training Program Schedule

Week One: Emergencies in Public Health
Wednesday, October 12, 5:30-7 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
Monday, October 17, 5:30-7 p.m. ET via Zoom

  • Ashley Stoop, director of Policy, Planning and Preparedness at Albemarle Regional Health Services

Week Three: Disaster Response
Monday, October 24, 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
Wednesday, November 2, 6:30-8 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

Week Five: Disaster Mitigation
Wednesday, November 9, 6:30-8 p.m. ET via Zoom

  • Sheila Davies, Dare County public health director

Week 6: Lactation and Infant Feeding in Disaster Settings
Monday, November 14, 5:30-7 p.m. ET via Zoom

  • Malaika Ludman, program administrator, Infant Ready Program at New Orleans Breastfeeding Center

Fall 2022 Session Recordings

Fall 2022 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 2022 Week 2: Disaster Preparedness

Listen to Ashley Stoop speak about best practices in disaster preparedness and crisis communications.

Watch the video

Fall 2022 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 at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, speak about disaster response.

Watch the video

Fall 2022 Week 4: Disaster Recovery

Listen to Dr. Dawn Baldwin-Gibson and Pastor Anthony Gibson speak about disaster recovery, reflective listening, and trauma-informed care.

Watch the video
			

Fall 2022 Week 5: Disaster Mitigation

Listen to Sheila Davies and John Wallace speak about disaster mitigation.

Watch the video
			

Fall 2022 Week 6: Lactation and Infant Feeding in Emergencies

Listen to Malaika Ludman speak about lactation and infant feeding in emergencies.

Watch the video

Spring 2022 Training Program Schedule

*Check back soon for information about the Spring 2023 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


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

Email Hannah Lineberger (hnbain@unc.edu) for any questions or concerns!

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