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Support Team


AHEPP Support Team




Keith Hansen, MBA

Executive Director

Mr. Hansen has conducted education, training, and disaster drills/exercises for Fortune 500 companies, higher education, public health departments, hospitals, emergency management agencies, and first responders. He is currently the Chairperson of the Nebraska State Emergency Response Commission and the Training Director for the Great Plains Chapter of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals. He conducts training in Incident Command, Exercise Development, Business Continuity and basic emergency preparedness for healthcare and public health.

In his last position, he created and implemented Nebraska’s Strategic National Stockpile Plan and served as the ESF-8 coordinator for Nebraska’s Public Health and Medical disaster response. Mr. Hansen has earned a Masters of Business Administration and has extensive experience in training, organizational/strategic planning, project management and leadership.


Kristine Sanger, BS, MT(ASCP), HCPCP 

Associate Executive Director

Ms. Sanger is responsible for coordination of conferences, live educational sessions and webinars. She provides expertise in facilitation, training & exercise plan development, disaster preparedness continuing education, conference coordination and coalition building for healthcare and public health emergency managers. Ms. Sanger is trained in Healthcare Business Continuity through DRI International and certified as a Certified Healthcare Provider Continuity Professional (CHPCP). She is involved in the Medical Response Systems throughout Nebraska and the Greater Omaha Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). Kristi has extensive experience in the healthcare field with a background in Clinical Laboratory Science, Embryology, Infection Prevention, Patient Safety, Employee Safety and Disaster Preparedness.


John Lowe, PhD

Director of Professional Certification, Advocacy and Governmental Affairs 

Dr. Lowe's research areas are infectious disease microbiology, disaster preparedness, and environmental exposure assessment. His focus is on remediation of biological weapon contamination, highly infectious patient transport, nosocomial environmental contamination, environmental sampling, and gaseous decontamination. This includes source evaluation, source tracking, and decontamination methods to reduce exposure. Dr. Lowe's research utilizes a wide array of research techniques including molecular biology, environmental microbiology, bioinformatics, and training assessment. He has previously done work and has ongoing projects in a wide range of environmental health topics from decontamination, highly infectious patient care, community-acquired pneumonia, as well as public health and healthcare disaster preparedness.

Beckie McCaw

Logistics and Finance

Ms. McCaw provides administrative assistance for the AHEPP staff. She serves as an initial point of contact for those who work with AHEPP and those attending trainings. She also handles many of the accounting functions for AHEPP and works behind the scenes to make sure operations run smoothly.

Kara Stephens, MPH, MSA

Director of Marketing and Communications


Mrs. Stephens provides AHEPP with marketing and communication consultation support. She bring us over 15 years of combined management experience in marketing and communications, including both public and private experience in the healthcare, public health and preparedness fields. Mrs. Stephens has received several national awards and accolades for her marketing and communications work with CDC's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and the YMCA. Her background provides a unique experience managing comprehensive branding campaigns and the creative development process that blends innovative storytelling with multimedia design.

Mrs. Stephens serves as a Health Education Coordinator for the Denton County MRC and provides health communication and marketing oversight of several national preparedness initiatives and programs in support of national health security efforts.


Sharon Medcalf, PhD

Director of Research Programs and Publication

Dr. Medcalf is an Assistant Professor in the College of Public health and the Director for the Center for Biosecurity, Biopreparedness and Emerging Infectious Diseases, which houses the Center for Preparedness Education, a state and regional training center for emergency preparedness, response and recovery. Dr. Medcalf is also the program director for the Master of Science program in Emergency Preparedness at UNMC’s College of Public Health, the first academic graduate program in the region, with a focus on the public health and medical response to a disaster.
Sharon has 15 years of acute care nursing experience that includes being a member of an air and ground transport team. She has worked in the international arena holding positions in Canada and Saudi Arabia. Dr. Medcalf’s research interests are in Hospital Preparedness, Community Medical Surge, Long Term Care Preparedness, Social Media Use in Disasters and Smallpox Vaccination of Laboratory Workers at National Variola Testing Sites




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