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CEPAR Leadership Transition Announced


(l. to r.) Dianne Whyne and Lauren Sauer

Dianne Whyne, R.N., M.S., C.H.E.P., will retire as the director of operations for the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) at the end of March. Whyne has been responsible for the daily operations of CEPAR, such as coordinating disaster response within all of Johns Hopkins and integrating the Johns Hopkins response with federal, state and local collaborators. During her 25-year career with Johns Hopkins, Whyne has held various other roles, including as a clinical specialist and nurse manager in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She has created response strategies and policies for hazmat events, contagious disease outbreaks and mass casualty events. More recently, Whyne helped coordinate the Johns Hopkins Ebola response and development of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Biocontainment Unit (BCU). Whyne has planned and executed numerous disaster exercises across Johns Hopkins. She serves as the chairperson of the BCU exercise and drill committee and the Johns Hopkins Hospital Emergency Department Management Committee, which led a drill in December involving an influx of 60 mock patients into the adult and pediatric emergency departments. Through her role as administrator of the Johns Hopkins Go Team, she was responsible for coordinating the Johns Hopkins response teams that were deployed following hurricanes Irma and Maria and Katrina and the Haiti earthquake.

“Over the past 15 years as part of CEPAR, I am humbled to have had the chance to leave a small mark on the Johns Hopkins emergency management mission,” Whyne says. “To say that I will miss Johns Hopkins is an understatement. My experiences here have been very rewarding. Progress made during my tenure is directly owed to the commitment and dedication of Johns Hopkins emergency management personnel and so many others.”

Whyne also has a joint appointment with the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, where she teaches two courses a year.

After her retirement, Whyne will move home to Pennsylvania with her husband. There, she plans to continue teaching disaster preparedness and nursing, while also traveling and pursuing her passion for art.

As Whyne prepares to leave her current role, Lauren Sauer, M.S., assistant professor of emergency medicine, began transitioning into the role of director of operations for CEPAR on Feb. 1.

Sauer previously served as the program manager for CEPAR’s research arm, the National Center for the Study of Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response (PACER). She is also currently the director of research for the Johns Hopkins BCU and holds a joint appointment in the Center for Humanitarian Health in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Sauer has been working in the field of disaster and public health emergency research and education for more than a decade. Her current work focuses primarily on health care infrastructure in disasters and outbreaks, including rapid diagnostic systems and novel therapeutics in public health emergencies, clinical resource availability and access, and the impact of policy on preparedness and response capabilities. 

“It will be practically impossible to fill Dianne’s shoes,” Sauer says. “The culture of preparedness she has created and supported at Johns Hopkins is amazing, and she been an incredible mentor to me as we transition roles. I am looking forward to working with everyone at the institution to continue to ensure that we are prepared to respond to any disaster that we may face.”