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Friday, March 23, 2018

ALICE Training and Why We March

For many years I have helped in school classrooms as a parent volunteer and a guest art teacher.  In the fall of 2017, I began substitute teaching as well.  Part of the process of becoming a substitute teacher is A.L.I.C.E. training.  This is an active shooter response and the acronym means Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.

When I go into a classroom to teach, before I even look for a instructor’s notes, I am ALERT.  I check that doors can lock, that windows can open.  I check to see if the drop from those windows is a few feet or a couple of floors. I look for closets that can be secured and walls that can hide little students.  I look for the emergency room packet or backpack, and only then can I begin to think of teaching.

I've been present in classrooms while small children try to be very quiet, very still during LOCKDOWN drills.  Once as a parent volunteer, I was alone in the hallway as a drill began and the school secretary pulled me quickly into the office, locked the door and turned out the lights.

I know that when I teach I can use the walkie-talkie at my belt to INFORM the school secretary and other teachers the location of a shooter.  I know that the secretary can inform the entire school via intercom which hallways and doors are currently safe choices for escape.

I know that in many cases the safest choice is to EVACUATE out the windows or doors if a shooter is inside the school. I know I will have to help the students get out quickly.

Because of A.L.I.C.E. training I know that if a shooter has gotten inside the room we must COUNTER.  We can throw books, backpacks, and chairs to distract and potentially disarm a shooter.  Teachers and older students have even been taught to swarm.  We have been taught to run at the shooter and take them down to the floor.  It is very hard to shoot a moving target and we have a chance to stop this before more people are harmed. 

High school students and teachers have been taught this lesson for years.

So why are folks surprised that we are marching tomorrow in DC?   Marching for those students that died in Florida and so many other places. 

You taught us to counter.

You taught us to swarm.

You taught us our actions could save lives. 

Tomorrow we act.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Many Hats We Wear

This is the 5th year of the Cinderblocks patient-led conference in Grantsville, MD.  We meet each May and renew our will to fight for better healthcare for us all.  This year our theme is 'the many hats we wear.'  I was inspired to choose this theme for a few reasons.

One reason is I have painted about this concept before when Howard Liebers joined The Walking Gallery in year one. 

One reason is Danny van Leeuwen from Health Hats.  Last year he attended Cinderblocks and met Danny McGinnest Jr.  an artist member of The Walking Gallery who designed a lovely logo for Health Hats on his way to our event. Danny van Leeuwen wrote a great explanation of Cinderblocks4 that I recommend everyone read. 

Another reason I chose this theme is that so many of us who work on change in healthcare have so many job roles.  We use every tool, every task, to further the cause.

Who am I?

I am a thought leader in healthcare focused on patient data access.

I am scout leader teaching young people about the importance of bees during our last meeting.

I am Church Council President picking up food donations so that we can continue to offer a free community meal each Sunday.   

I am a business leader helping run a town-wide yard sale so local folks can raise some funds this May.  That extra income could be the difference between paying the mortgage or going into default.

I am a Member of Woodmen’s Chapter 41 and I am helping run a school drive for needed supplies like bleach wipes so teachers can stem the tide sickness in schools.

I wear so many hats, but so do many of you.   This year at #Cinderblocks5 we want to hear about the many hats you wear.  We want to recognize that to change the world, you must bring your whole self to the table.

If you would like to help sponsor our event go here:

Thank you, 
Regina Holliday