2022/01/18 Ali Asgary & Nathaniel Osgood
Developing the Next Generation of Pandemic Training Exercises for EOC

  • Speaker: Ali Asgary, York University, Hudson Blue, York University, Nathaniel Osgood, University of Saskatchewan
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Location: Online
  • Abstract: Building on experiences gained and lessons learned from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our team (the EOC team at The Mathematics for Public Health project) aims to develop and test the next generation of the Public Health EOC based emergency training exercises. These exercises will address complicated pandemic management challenges by using integrated modeling and simulation tools. The integration of modeling and simulation tools will allow us to create exercise scenarios which could not be manually recreated by exercise facilitators. Once we are finished developing these training exercises, we will bring together experts with real lived experience managing the COVID-19 pandemic to provide feedback on how to the exercises can be improved. As a first step we are planning to develop and test an exercise focused on disease outbreaks in rural and northern indigenous communities. In doing so we intend to have the exercise represent the unique modelling and equity challenges of managing disease outbreaks in these communities. This Colloquium talk will explore on how modeling and simulation tools can be used to support emergency management training exercises, the unique challenges faced by rural and northern indigenous communities during the pandemic, and how these challenges can be represented using modeling and exercise design.
  • Dr Ali Asgary is an associate professor of Disaster and Emergency Management, Director of CIFAL York, and associate director of York University’s Advanced Disaster, emergency and Rapid-response Simulation (ADERSIM). His teaching and research interests are in diverse areas of disaster and emergency management with special focus on “community, organizational, and businesses resilience and post disaster recovery and reconstruction", and "disaster and emergency simulation, modelling, and exercise". He is currently involved as PI and Co-PI and co-applicant in a number of major research projects funded by SSHRC, CIHR, NSERC, DRDC, and IDRC. Dr. Asgary is leading the EOC team of the Mathematics for Public Health project.
  • Hudson Blue is a second year student in the Masters of Disaster and Emergency Management program at York University. Through his work as a research assistant for Dr Asgary he has contributed to two papers currently being prepared for publishing, one on using agent based simulation to model disease outbreaks in long term care facilities, and one on modelling the capacity of hockey hub vaccination clinics. His current role in the MFPH EOC team is to design training exercise scenarios which will be integrated with modelling and simulations tools to improve the pandemic response training available to emergency management, and public health professionals. Hudson has also previously worked with the York Region Emergency Management team helping to develop an all hazards regional recovery plan.
  • Dr. Nathaniel D. Osgood is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Associate Faculty in the Department of Community Health & Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan. His research is focused on providing cross-linked simulation, ubiquitous sensing, and machine learning tools to inform understanding of population health trends and health policy tradeoffs. His applications work has addressed challenges in the communicable, zoonotic, environmental, and chronic disease areas. Dr. Osgood is further the co-creator of two novel mobile sensor-based epidemiological monitoring systems, most recently the Google Android- and iPhone-based iEpi (now Ethica Health) mobile epidemiological monitoring systems. He has additionally contributed innovations to improve dynamic modeling quality and efficiency, introduced novel techniques hybridizing multiple simulation approaches and simulation models with decision analysis tools, and which leverage such models using data gathered from wireless epidemiological monitoring systems. Dr. Osgood has led many international courses in simulation modelling and health around the world, and his online videos on the subject attract thousands of views per month. Prior to joining the U of S faculty, he graduated from MIT with a PhD in Computer Science in 1999, served as a Senior Lecturer at MIT and worked for a number of years in a variety of academic, consulting and industry positions.
  • Related Publications

Dyck, R., Osgood, N., Lin, T. H., Gao, A., & Stang, M. R. (2010). Epidemiology of diabetes mellitus among First Nations and non-First Nations adults. Cmaj, 182(3), 249-256.

Tofighi, M., Asgary, A., Merchant, A. A., Shafiee, M. A., Najafabadi, M. M., Nadri, N., ... & Wu, J. (2021). Modelling COVID-19 transmission in a hemodialysis centre using simulation generated contacts matrices. medRxiv. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.03.21249175v1

Roud, E., Gausdal, A. H., Asgary, A., & Carlström, E. (2021). Outcome of collaborative emergency exercises: Differences between full‐scale and tabletop exercises. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 29(2), 170-184. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-5973.12339

Networks »Networks
MfPH – Training »MfPH – Training
2021–2022 Colloquium on Mathematics for Public Health »2021–2022 Colloquium on Mathematics for Public Health
2022/01/18 Ali Asgary & Nathaniel Osgood
Ali Asgary »Ali Asgary
Nathaniel Osgood »Nathaniel Osgood
Vaccination »Vaccination
Covid-19 »Covid-19
Environment »Environment
Simulation »Simulation
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