University of California
Michael Bates

Robyn Gershon, MHS, DrPH

Professor
Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
School of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
3333 California Street Suite 280, Box 0936
San Francisco, CA 94118
415-476-1890
robyn.gershon@ucsf.edu
 
Current Research Interests

  • Occupational and environmental epidemiology
  • Public health disaster preparedness and response
  • Disaster preparedness in the workplace, including mitigation, preparedness, response
    and recovery from natural and man-made disasters
  • Risk assessment and risk management of hazards in high risk work settings
  • Integrated emergency management and disaster science
  • Translation of epidemiological research findings into organizational practices and regulatory control
Robyn Gershon, MT, MHS, DrPH, is a Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. Prior to this appointment, she was a Professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City, with a joint appointment at Columbia University's School of Nursing. She is a multidisciplinary occupational and environmental health and safety researcher with 20 years of experience in conducting complex, large scale, multi- method research studies.

Her research has centered on assessment and risk management issues in high risk work occupations. Currently, her research involves theoretical models of preparedness in high-risk populations (both occupational and community). Her recent work focused on preparedness of the Mass Fatality Management Infrastructure in the US. To measure preparedness, the research team developed metrics of preparedness for each of the key subsectors in the infrastructure, assessed levels of preparedness across five key subsectors, and identified important gaps across and within the infrastructure. This study was the first to assess the nation’s preparedness for management of mass fatalities. Dr. Gershon has also recently been focusing her research that addresses racial/ethnic disparities in the US bioscience graduate student population.

Key Publications

Gershon RR, Gregory L, Nwankwo EM, Zhi Q, Ozer Elizabeth, Estrada MB. Quality of Graduate School Life: Do perceptions differ among majority/minority students? Under Review, Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. (October, 2015).

Sherman M, Gershon R, Riley H*, Magda L*, Zhi Q*, Peyrot M. Evacuation Experience, “Emergency Preparedness Safety Climate” and Mental Health Outcomes among WTC Disaster Evacuees”, Under Review, PLos One. (October, 2015).

Loo G*, DiMaggio, Morse, Canton, Gershon R, Galea, S. PTSD and Coping Behavior Style Among Federal Disaster Responders. In Press, Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. October, 2015).

Merrill JA, Orr M*, Chen D, Zhi Q*, Gershon RRM, Are we ready for mass fatality incidents? Preparedness of the US mass fatality infrastructure Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. In Press, American Journal of Disaster Medicine (September 2015).

Gershon RRM, Orr M*, Zhi Q*, Merrill JA, Chen DY, Riley HEM*, Sherman MF. Mass Fatality Preparedness among Medical Examiner/Coroners in United States: A cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. 2014 Dec 15;14(1):1275. PMID:25511819.

Gershon R. World Trade Center Attack on September 11,2011. In: Landesman LY, Weisfuse IB, eds. Case Studies in Public Health Preparedness and Responses to Disasters. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2014: 209-232.

Gershon RR, Kraus L, Raveis V, Sherman M, Kailes J. Emergency Preparedness in a Sample of Persons with Disabilities. American Journal of Disaster Medicine. 2013 Winter;8(1):35-47. PMID: 23716372.

Crowley* KA, Myers R, Magda LA, Morse SS, Brandt-Rauf P, Gershon RR. Prevalence and factors associated with 2009 to 2011 influenza vaccinations at a university medical center. American Journal of Infection Control. 2013 Feb 26;41(9):824-30. PMID: 23485370

Gershon RR, Dailey M, Magda LA, Riley HE, Conolly J, Silver A. Safety in the home healthcare sector: Development of a new household safety checklist. Journal of Patient Safety, 2012; 8(2) 1-9. PMID: 22543362.

Gershon RRM, Magda LA, Riley HEM, Merrill JA. Mass Fatality Preparedness in the Death Care Sector. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2011; 53(10) 1179-86. PMID: 21915068.

Gershon RRM, Magda LA, Riley HEM, Merrill JA. Mass Fatality Preparedness in the Death Care Sector. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2011 Oct; 53(10) 1179- 86. PMID: 21915068.

Gershon RRM, Magda LA, Riley HEM, Sherman MF. The World Trade Center evacuation study: Factors associated with initiation and length of time for evacuation. Fire and Materials. 2011 February; 36(5-6):481-500. doi: 10.1002/fam.1080.

Sherman MF, Peyrot M, Magda LA, Gershon RRM. Modeling pre-evacuation delay by evacuees in World Trade Center Towers 1 and 2 on September 11, 2001: A revisit using regression analysis. Fire Safety Journal. 2011; 46(7) 414-424. doi:10.1016/j.firesaf.2011.07.001.

Gershon RRM, Magda LA, Qureshi KA, Riley HE, Scanlon E, Carney MT, Richards RJ, Sherman MF. Factors associated with the ability and willingness of essential workers to report to duty during a pandemic. J Occup Environ Med. 2010; 52(10):995-1003. PMID: 20881624.

Magda LA, Canton AN, Gershon RRM. Web-based weapons of mass destruction training for transit police. Journal of Public Transportation. 2010; 13(3) 63-77.

Gershon RR, Vandelinde N*, Magda LA, Pearson JM, Werner A, Prezant D. Evaluation of a pandemic preparedness training intervention for emergency medical services personnel. Prehosp Disaster Med.

Magda LA, Canton AN, Gershon RRM. Web-based weapons of mass destruction training for transit police. Journal of Public Transportation. 2010; 13(3) 63-77. 2009;24(6):508-11. PMID: 20301068.

Gershon RRM, Rubin MS, Qureshi KA, Canton AN, Matzner FJ. Participatory action research methodology in disaster research: Results from the World Trade Center Evacuation Study. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. 2008 Oct; 2(3):142-9. PMID: 18845929.

Qureshi K, Gershon RR, Sherman MF, et al. Health care workers’ ability and willingness to report to duty during catastrophic disasters. Journal of Urban Health. 2005;82(3):378-388. PMID: 16000654.

Selected University & Public Service

  • Member, Board of Directors, The World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine, 2015
  • Member, UCSF, Emergency Operations Center’s (EOC) Incident Management TeamSelected Projects

National Institute of Health General Medical Sciences Gershon (PI)
Biomedical Research Career Identification in Graduate Education (BRIDGE) (09/01/13- 06/30/17) BRIDGE is a complex four-year intervention study based on social cognitive theory predicting persistence in challenging academic environments. Interventions designed to encourage all doctoral students to pursue their career aspirations in the research sciences will be developed, implemented and tested at UCSF. We hope to obtain information that will lead to evidence-based programs that increase self-efficacy, outcome expectations, scientific identity, and persistence in pursuing a science research career among underrepresented minority (URM) and non-URM early stage doctoral students and therefore effectively support greater diversity in the science research career workforce.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Gershon (PI)
Systems-Level Mass Fatality Preparedness (10/01/12 – 09/30/14)
The purpose of this study is to add to our knowledge and identify gaps in preparedness for mass fatality disaster events. The findings from this study will help us develop strategies to make organizations better prepared for a mass fatality event. In particular, we are studying the preparedness of key stakeholders involved at both public and private levels in mass fatality management. These include the death care sector (funeral directors, cemeteries, and crematoriums); medical examiner/coroner’s offices; state/local health departments; state/local offices of emergency management; faith-based organizations; and DMORT teams.

National Institute of Nursing Research Gershon (PI)
The Role of Social and Behavioral Factors on Disaster Planning in Home Care
(08/07/13 – 07/31/15)
Although recent research indicates that social and behavioral factors play an important role with respect to disaster response, our knowledge of the role these factors play in disaster preparedness, is extremely limited. The goal of this study is to explore the expectations about emergency preparedness of elderly adults in two high risk cities: New York City and San Francisco; and compare their expectations to the actual capacity of home care agencies and local emergency response agencies. The information obtained from this study can impact preparedness at multiple levels in home care, and can also have an impact at the national levels of emergency planning and response.

National Institute of Health General Medical Sciences Gershon (PI)
Biomedical Research Career Identification in Graduate Education (BRIDGE) (09/01/13 – 06/30/17)
BRIDGE is a complex four-year intervention study based on social cognitive theory predicting persistence in challenging academic environments. Interventions designed to encourage all doctoral students to pursue their career aspirations in the research sciences will be developed, implemented and tested at UCSF. We hope to obtain information that will lead to evidence-based programs that increase self-efficacy, outcome expectations, scientific identity, and persistence in pursuing a science research career among underrepresented minority (URM) and non-URM early stage doctoral students and therefore effectively support greater diversity in the science research career workforce.

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Brackbill (PI)
WTC Health Registry Post-Injury Study
(07/01/2015-06/30/2016)
This proposed project, focusing on persons injured on the 9/11/01, is intended to fill a gap in knowledge concerning circumstances of how injuries were sustained on 9/11/01, and the short and long term physical, mental, social and economic consequences of being injured as a result of the attacks on the World Trade Center. Role: Consulting PI