Journal of Emergency Management ®
Webinar Series 
Resources for Emergency Professionals Who Serve Communities that are Disproportionately Impacted by COVID-19
The Role of Social Determinants of Health
As They Relate to Emotional Well-Being Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
How Right Now Campaign

 May 19, 2021
1:00 PM Eastern Time (EST)

Abstract: How Right Now/Que’ Hacer Ahora, a national communication campaign made possible with support from The CDC Foundation in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), offers supportive resources for emergency professionals who serve communities that are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 as well as for emergency professionals themselves, who may be experiencing stress, grief, and/or loss due to their work. 

To support emergency professionals and the communities they serve, this 60-minute webinar will present an overview of this campaign and its resources. To contextualize the campaign, the webinar will begin by providing a brief overview of some recent mental health data from a CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Then, data that were collected that helped inform the development of the How Right Now campaign will be presented. Specifically, the relationship between Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) and COVID-19-related emotional well-being was examined and will be discussed. Finally, tailored resources that emergency professionals can use in their work or for themselves and detailed ideas for implementation and roll out of this program in your neighborhoods will be highlighted.

A webinar overview is listed below our speakers.

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(Note: The webinar will be recorded. You need to be registered for the webinar to get notice when the recording is available.)
Rebecca Leeb, PhD
Dr. Rebecca Leeb is a Health Scientist/Epidemiologist in the Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where her work is focused on expanding CDC’s capacity to address emotional well-being at the population-level. Trained as a Developmental Psychologist, Dr. Leeb has served in CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2002-2010) where she led the CDC’s work to improve public health tracking and monitoring of child abuse and neglect, including publication of CDC’s Child Maltreatment Surveillance-Uniform Definitions for Public Health and Recommended Data Elements. From 2010 to 2021, Dr. Leeb served in the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities where she focused on children’s emotional well-being, children’s disaster related mental health, adolescent mental health and transition to adulthood, and mental health surveillance. Dr. Leeb has participated in numerous CDC emergency responses and most recently served for more than 150 days on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is the author of recent publications including reports describing healthcare transitions for adolescents with mental, behavioral and developmental disorders and children’s mental health-related emergency department visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amelia Burke-Garcia, PhD
Dr. Amelia Burke-Garcia is a seasoned health communications professional with nearly 20 years of experience in public health communication program planning, implementation and evaluation, with specific expertise in developing and evaluating digital health communications campaigns and intervention studies. Currently, Dr. Burke-Garcia is a Program Area Director in the Public Health Department at NORC at the University of Chicago where she directs the How Right Now/Que’ Hacer Ahora campaign, which is aimed at increasing people’s ability to cope and be resilient amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of her career, Dr. Burke-Garcia has spearheaded some of the most innovative communication programs and studies on a variety of health topics including investigating perspectives and motivations of non-vaccinating online influencers, designing a targeted intervention with social media influencers to help lower their readers' risk for breast cancer, and leveraging MeetUp groups and the Waze mobile application to move people to action around flu vaccination and HIV testing, respectively. Her book entitled, Influencing Health: A Comprehensive Guide to Working with Online Influencers, was released in 2019 by Routledge Press. She has been named to’s list of 10 Modern Female Innovators Shaking Up Health Care and was also named as Diverse Health Hub’s Woman of the Week. She holds a PhD in Communication from George Mason University, a Master’s degree in Communication, Culture, and Technology from Georgetown University, and a joint honors Bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies and Humanistic Studies from McGill University.
Lela R. McKnight-Eily, PhD
Dr. Lela R. McKnight-Eily is a Behavioral Scientist and Clinical Psychologist on the Intervention Research Team in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. Dr. McKnight-Eily is lead author of the recent CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on Racial and Ethnic Disparities titled Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Prevalence of Stress and Worry, Mental Health Conditions, and Increased Substance Use Among Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Additionally, she works to prevent HIV transmission in incarcerated persons rejoining the community and examines the impact of trauma-informed care on HIV transmission. Previously, Dr. McKnight-Eily led programmatic/scientific efforts to increase alcohol screening and brief intervention (alcohol SBI) in primary care to prevent risky alcohol consumption and harms like Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders or FAS. Prior to joining the FAS team, she led several science-based initiatives within the CDC alcohol program with a focus on policy. She has served as a lead scientist, subject matter expert and epidemiologist for mental health and sleep work in National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Dr. McKnight-Eily came to the CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in 2005, in the Office on Smoking and Health’s Global Tobacco Control Program/Epidemiology Branch.
Cynthia Crick, MPH
Cynthia Crick, MPH is currently serving as a Health Communications campaign and Special Projects Advisor in CDC's Division of Population Health. Cynthia is an experienced Public Health Professional. She is an expert communicator with about 25 years of US Government experience. Skilled in Health Communication, Social Media Strategy, Campaign Management, Partnership Development, and Media Relations. MPH from Emory University.
Webinar Overview

  • Opening Remarks/Welcome, Richard DeVito & Professor Attila Hertelendy, PhD (co-moderators)
  • Overview of CDC MMWR on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Prevalence of Mental Health Conditions, Dr. Lela McKnight-Eily, CDC 
  • Introduction of How Right Now & Review of the Research, Dr. Amelia Burke-Garcia, NORC at the University of Chicago
  • The Campaign and Resources for Emergency Professionals, Dr. Rebecca Leeb, CDC
  • Curated Q&A via Chat & Closing Remarks Richard DeVito & Professor Attila Hertelendy, PhD 

(Speakers and topics subject to change without notice)
Funding for this training/webinar has been provided by The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under award number U45ES019350, in association with Nova Southeastern University.
Call for Papers
COVID-19 and Mental Health

   Journal of Emergency Management (JEM) is preparing a special issue addressing the mental health issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. JEM seeks manuscript submissions focused on the impact of COVID-19 on individuals, organizations, and first responders with a special emphasis on mental health and trauma during the global pandemic.
   Additionally, we seek papers that address the confounding nature of COVID-19 as it relates to other disasters faced during the pandemic and the short- and long-term mental health effects on the emergency management profession, the related disciplines and laypersons in your community.

   Over the past 15 months, the world has been turned upside down as we encountered COVID-19 and dealt with all the issues adjoining it. One of the most significant impacts has been on people and their mental health and their ability to deal with the constant onslaught of information and images. This pandemic struck quickly and left much of the world rocking back on its heels.
   The mental health issues impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals, families, and communities will not end once a vaccine is fully distributed. It will be experienced for several years to come. "Trauma not transformed is trauma transferred." The speed at which this pandemic arrived on the scene and the apparent lack of attention to the mental health needs of those suffering through this pandemic has created a recipe for continued distress. There is a clear need for encouraging collaboration and finding ways to address these issues.
Journal of Emergency Management invites manuscripts directly related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are particularly interested in the following areas:

  • Trauma and Resilience in the Wake of COVID-19
  • Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings
  • Mental Health Care for Emergency Management and Affiliate Professions
  • First Responder and Front-line Impacts
  • Disparities in Mental Health Services and Outcomes
  • Social and Mental Health Problems in Global and/or Domestic Settings
  • Compassion Fatigue, Depression and Anxiety
  • Lockdown Fatigue, Social Isolation and Confinement
  • Suicide Rates and Prevention During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Managing Staff and Laypersons with Comorbid Substance Use Disorders
  • Researching and Retooling Emergency Messaging and Communication to Reduce Stress
  • COVID-19 and Nationwide Protests
  • Global Mental Health and International Impacts
  • Secondary Trauma
  • Serial Traumatization from Broadcast and Social Media and Rationalization/Sensemaking
  • Patients Suffering from Psychiatric Disorders and/or Lack of In-Person Caregiver Access
  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Pandemic Planning
  • ** We will work collaboratively with IAEM and their #IAEMSTRONG campaign
  • We will consider any manuscript that creates/delivers tools to reduce items listed above.
The latest Call for Papers is available at this link: 
Manuscript Submission:
Manuscripts should be submitted directly to the Journal of Emergency Management manuscript submission system. Details are located here:
Manuscript submissions will be accepted through the end of Q2-2021 and will be placed in the special issue of our online edition of JEM
Article Types:
We will review articles across the spectrum as original papers, research, best practices, creative solutions, short stories, training, brief communications, short reviews of existing programs as well as creative mental health management, coping and stress reduction original papers. Additional documented modalities for managing the topics above will be reviewed with the goal of sharing useful cutting-edge tools to improve and/or address mental health of colleagues and laypersons in your protection. We are happy to preview any submission.
Article Length:
Our traditional article length limit is 3,500 words. We will address length limitations on a per article basis.
Additional Media Formats:
We will accept non-paper based submissions (video, Power Point, etc) as long as they include the standard JEM abstract format, all citation details, and all rights are cleared and assignable. Please contact our office for more details. 
Questions may be directed to the email above or you may contact our offices at 781-899-2702 Ext 114 or 108, Monday - Friday, 9am-4pm EST.
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Commercial advertising and donations will be accepted in this special issue to defray the costs of producing this content in an accelerated process.
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