Disaster Preparedness & Response: Reaching Those Left Behind

June 9, 2023 | Moriah Washington and Dr. Armen Henderson


Due to climate change and an increase in global surface temperatures, we will continue to see an increase in extreme weather events such as severe storms, hurricanes, droughts, and flooding. Dr. Armen Henderson, 2021 CHEF Fellow and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami, will talk about the effects that disasters, such as extreme weather events, have on disadvantaged communities and his program to engage health professionals in responding. Moriah Washington, Director of Community Engagement at the New York City Emergency Management Agency, will report on how NYC is working to strengthen communities by implementing culturally specific solutions to emergency response which are made available to their residents.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Armen Henderson

Armen Henderson, MD, MBA, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami and an internal medicine physician. As a volunteer with the Miami chapter of Dream Defenders, a civil rights organization formed shortly after the death of Trayvon Martin, Henderson has sought to improve the plight of the impoverished amid the pandemic, going out into the homeless community to conduct free COVID-19 testing, distributing face masks and other personal protective equipment, and providing information and resources on the virus. Armen graduated from Meharry Medical College and completed a residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University – Owen Graduate School of Management. As an undergraduate, he studied Biology and Chemistry at the Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.

Speaker Bio: Moriah Washington

Moriah serves as the Director of Community Engagement, leading a team that collaborates with and engages community-based organizations in emergency preparedness and response.  She holds a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Berea College (Berea, KY) and her Master’s in Public Administration from Baruch College (NY, NY). Prior to serving in the emergency management field, Moriah served in the youth development sector as an educator, community organizer, and manager for over 14 years and over 20 years coordinating community outreach efforts. Moriah is an alumna of AmeriCorps (City Year + Citizen Schools) and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. She has actively served in urban communities working with parents, schools, local leaders, and community organizers throughout her entire career.