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Effective Policies for Hospital Systems during an Earthquake Emergency Response

Speaker: Luis Ceferino, Stanford University
Series: MMS Brown Bag Seminars
Location: Engineering Quad E219
Date/Time: Thursday, April 25, 2019, 11:00:00 a.m. - 12:00:00 p.m.


Hospital systems face three critical issues during post-earthquake emergency responses: (1) damage to hospitals and supporting infrastructure disrupts critical hospital functions; (2) damage to the city’ built environment causes injuries that require medical treatment; and (3) hospitals that are disrupted, evacuated or overflowing have to make on-the-fly decisions to transfer patients, without proper  coordination. As a result, a compromised hospital system will decrease its “supply”, increase its “demand”, and reduce its coordination capacity. In this presentation, a framework that builds on recent Performance-based Earthquake Engineering (PBEE) developments and targets to support post-earthquake decision making in hospital systems to meet emergency response demands will be shown. Our approach consisted in constructing a holistic formulation for hospital system resilience that integrates new models for (1) assessing the post-earthquake reduction of hospital system functionality, (2) quantifying multiseverity earthquake casualties, and (3) optimizing hospital coordination strategies to effectively transfer patients and minimize waiting times within the hospital system. An illustration of the framework is included through an application to the city of Lima, Peru, subjected to a magnitude 8.0 earthquake.


Luis is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Stanford  University. He investigates the impact of natural disasters to urban areas and evaluate policies to improve the resilience of cities to disasters using cutting-edge earthquake engineering, optimization, statistical and machine learning techniques. During his Ph.D., he has developed tools for effectively redistributing resources and transferring patients in hospital systems during an earthquake emergency response to minimize patient waiting times. He has also coupled models for distributed energy resources (DERs) with earthquake analytics to measure the increase in post-earthquake power accessibility due to solar panel adoption. His research projects at Stanford University have been benefited from collaborations with researchers at different institutions such as Caltech, Carnegie Mellon University, University of California Los Angeles, University of Pavia in Italy, and the National University of Engineering in Peru.  He also has consulting experience on seismic risk and structural engineering in Peruvian and U.S. engineering firms and more recently in the World Bank.