New role will equip referral and information service to provide coordinated response during emergency events
PORTLAND, Ore., February 2, 2022 – 211info announced today a newly created role that will position the referral and information service to more efficiently respond to statewide emergencies.
Kerry Hoeschen, who has been with the nonprofit for almost two years and served most recently as 211info’s COVID-19 Program Manager, will step into the position of Statewide Emergency Management Director. In this role, Hoeschen will lead 211info’s emergency planning, processes and partnerships to support people throughout Oregon.
“Between COVID-19 and the climate crisis, we’re starting to see years with multiple emergencies: extreme weather events, wildfires and the ripple effects of two years of living through a pandemic have taken a toll,” explained Dan Herman, 211info’s Chief Executive Officer. “This new role will enable Kerry and her team to create more structure to streamline our organization’s response.”
Hoeschen will lead 211info’s emergency management team and provide leadership to 211info’s community engagement coordinators, working closely with local, regional and state emergency management organizations.
As Statewide Emergency Management Director, Hoeschen will oversee 211info’s growing team of on-call staff, who are available to return to 211info and provide support during emergencies. She will continue to manage the COVID-19 and vaccine lines and also oversee 211info’s disaster case management line.
“When emergencies come up, we have to quickly stand up and organize a lot of moving parts,” explains Hoeschen, who sees the development of this role as a necessary evolution for the organization. “I hope to help establish more cohesive and coordinated response strategies for Oregonians when they need help most,” she added.
Hoeschen also noted the growth at 211info, which has tripled in size over the past two years. She says callers across the state increasingly look to the organization for crucial information and resources they need during an emergency or crisis situation.
Since 2020, 211info has served as the Oregon Health Authority’s designated COVID-19 hotline for the state. The nonprofit has also been a key information and referral service for Oregonians during wildfires and extreme weather events.
For Hoeschen, an important part of this role will be asking the right questions to better streamline processes: What’s working well? Where are our vulnerabilities? Where do we have gaps? Where are the opportunities?
The Statewide Emergency Management Director reports to 211info’s Chief Operating Officer. This new role is made possible because of recent investments by the Oregon Legislature.
About 211info: 211info is a nonprofit organization funded by state and municipal contracts, foundations, United Ways, donations and community partners in Oregon and Southwest Washington. As Oregon Health Authority’s designated COVID-19 hotline for the state, 211info also serves as a central resource for residents looking for information about the novel coronavirus, including symptoms to look for, where to receive care and how to get tested. Learn more at 211info.org.