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Ensuring Your Community’s Emergency Preparedness

Thursday, November 16, 2023 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Another joint great event offered by the East, North and Midwest Texas ACHE chapters. . . .the first of four panels offered this November.

This panel has been approved for 1.5 ACHE Virtual Face-to-Face credits.


In the best of circumstances, healthcare organizations operate in a complex environment. This can be exacerbated when a community faces a local or national emergency, either natural, human-caused, or technological, that thrusts the healthcare system to the forefront of response and makes it the focus of recovery efforts. It is critical that the local healthcare community be actively engaged in the development of comprehensive emergency preparedness plans, training, and exercises to ensure that local organizations communicate and coordinate their mutual support in service to the community.


Moderator: Matt Richardson, FACHE, DrPH, MPH
Director of Public Health
Denton County


David Abernathy
City of Pittsburg, Texas

Walter Cassity
Senior Vice President of Real Estate, Public Safety, Environment of Care & Emergency Management
Baylor Scott & White Health

Dr. Rohith Saravanan
Curbside Consult, LLC


Speakers’ Bios:


Mr. David Abernathy is a fifth-generation resident of Pittsburg, is the son of the late D. H. Abernathy, who was mayor of Pittsburg for 52 years. He has a son, David H. E Abernathy.

He has served the citizens of Pittsburg and Camp County for most of his life. David has been a volunteer firefighter for over 47 years and was co-founder and 13-year president of Camp County Emergency Medical Service (EMS). He developed the first city/county emergency management plan and served as emergency management coordinator and as county fire marshal for over 30 years, without pay, and is a reserve deputy sheriff. David initiated our citizen emergency alerting system. He and his father built eight fire trucks for the city and county, donating their labor, and he has helped design four others.

David is a trustee for the First United Methodist Church and for the Northeast Texas Rural Heritage Museum. He retired as an Assistant Chief with the Texas Forest Service, where he helped manage major disasters and events throughout the nation, including two Super Bowls, and provided training and assistance to a multitude of agencies including the Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Texas Department of Public Safety. He was appointed by two Texas governors to the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. David is the owner of Abernathy Training and Consulting and sits on state and national public safety committees.



Walter Cassity is senior vice president of real estate, public safety, environment of care and emergency management at Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas. The system’s integrated delivery network includes Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform, MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,100 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care, as well as an array of virtual and in-home services. In his role, Cassity implements the System’s real estate strategy and oversees programs that mitigate, prepare and respond to workplace hazards and emergencies in accordance with federal, state and local standards. He previously served as vice president of environment of care & emergency management, police, public safety and security. Earlier in his career, he was corporate director of environmental safety & emergency management at Baylor Health Care System and safety manager and safety technician at Baylor University Medical Center. Cassity holds a master’s degree in public administration— executive health care administration and a bachelor’s degree in industrial safety from the University of Texas at Tyler. He previously earned an associate degree in environmental health & safety from Texas State Technical College.


Dr. Matt Richardson was appointed as the Director of Public Health for Denton County in the summer of 2014. Dr. Richardson previously served as Director with the City of Amarillo and Potter/Randall Counties for 9 years. Dr. Richardson has authored peer-reviewed publications, testified to the Texas Legislature regarding public health issues and continues to advocate for public health practice and resources for Denton County and the state of Texas. He has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Abilene Christian University and both Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Public Health from the University of North Texas. He is currently board certified and Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Dr. Richardson also serves as an accreditation site reviewer for public health programs in universities across the US. Matt lives in Argyle with his wife of 24 years and their two daughters.



Dr. Rohith Saravanan is a physician executive with over 15 years of broad experience across the healthcare industry, including clinical care, quality, regulatory compliance, business development, operations, community partnerships, and strategic growth. He started his career in clinical medicine as a family physician providing care for the underserved population, and quickly grew into leadership roles in operations and strategy, in progressively larger settings. He has led physician groups, urgent care & occupational medicine networks, ACOs, and acute care hospitals.


Dr. Saravanan is a dynamic physician executive adept at assessing needs, developing solutions, and implementing positive changes to achieve sustainability and growth in challenging market conditions. He is exceptional at building teams and strengthening strategic business relationships. He has a history of streamlining clinical operations, increasing revenue, and reducing costs to maximize value. People describe him as an inspirational leader with a humanitarian spirit. With his proven track record of success, his broad educational background and his diverse management and clinical experience, he is the type of a well-rounded healthcare leader that boards, investors, and other executives can depend on.


As a business leader he has the knowledge, creativity and imagination that allows him to be innovative, and his endurance and hard work help him see projects through. He is confident and enthusiastic, yet self-aware; fair and patient, yet decisive; and he operates with the utmost integrity and possesses steadfast virtue. His unique style combines inspirational leadership with humility, a commanding presence, and a calming demeanor. He cares deeply about people, develops leaders in all those he touches and has a strong heart for community service.


Dr. Saravanan’s passion in life is to a make positive impact in the communities he serves on a progressively larger scale. Having previously held multiple executive positions within the healthcare corporate setting, he has deep industry experience in direct care delivery, outpatient/inpatient operations, strategic planning & business development in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. He has recently embarked on an entrepreneurial journey to acquire and operate his own medical practice group.


He is also the Co-Owner and Executive Chairman of ameriCARE Texas, a non-medical personal care franchise currently based in the DFW area. Additionally, he has invested in and serves as a medical advisor to mobriseHealth, an AI powered digital health startup in the remote patient monitoring and chronic care management space.


Fun fact: Dr. Saravanan grew up in 5 different countries throughout his life and can speak 5 languages. He loves to travel, cook, and spend time with his wife (also a physician) and 2 kids.


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