Case Synopsis

Dr. Harry Leonardo is the Manager of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Washington D.C. The EOC coordinates emergency relief efforts during disaster response in the PAHO region. Dr. Leonardo has developed an information-sharing platform, Health Operations in Emergencies (HOPE), to facilitate communication, enhance situational awareness, and promote collaboration amongst the stakeholders involved in disaster response. Professionals within the EOC and PAHO have reservations about HOPE. The platform has great potential, but it is unclear to what extent the relevant stakeholders have been involved in its development. Dr. Leonardo must make the best use of his resources to implement HOPE. He must formulate a strategy for testing and implementing the information-sharing platform within the organization and for introducing HOPE to all relevant stakeholders in the emergency response environment.

Case Objectives

  1. Understand the complexities associated with communicating during a disaster, given the need for collaboration amongst aid organizations, local health systems, and the coordinating centre.
  2. Appraise the operational readiness of an information-sharing platform intended to facilitate disaster response.
  3. Suggest approaches for engaging stakeholders in the development of the informationsharing platform.
  4. Discuss ways to ensure the usability of the communication system.
  5. Apply knowledge of organizational change and communications to formulate a plan for the development, testing and implementation of the information-sharing platform, with timelines.

Case Study Questions

  1. Describe the role of the EOC during disaster response in the PAHO region.
  2. What are the potential benefits of an information-sharing platform during disaster response?
  3. What are the challenges involved in implementing an information-sharing platform?
  4. Formulate a strategy for addressing those challenges.


emergency preparedness, information-sharing platform, disaster response, health communications, leadership, change management, stakeholder engagement, usability testing

Additional Author Information

Yoshith Perera, MBBS, MPH

Leonardo Hernandez, MD, Coordinator, Department of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

Ciro Ugarte, MD, Director, Department of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

Ava John-Baptiste, PhD, Assistant Professor



Recommended Citation

Perera, Y., Hernandez, L., Ugarte, C., John-Baptiste, A. (2015). Health Operations in Emergencies (HOPE). in: Speechley, M., & Terry, A.L. [eds] Western Public Health Casebook 2015. London, ON: Public Health Casebook Publishing.