2019 SALUS Trailblazers

The annual SALUS Trailblazer Award honors SALUS users for their innovative implementation of SALUS, HSA Council’s crisis and event management platform. In 2019, two individuals were nominated by several of their peers for their work, which is having a real impact on emergency response and the people who live and work in the greater Los Angeles region.

The first award went to the original SALUS Trailblazer, Jimmy Kim, Superintendent, of Recreation and Parks Operations in the Emergency Management and Aquatics Division for the City of Los Angeles. When Jimmy was first introduced to SALUS, he immediately identified the extraordinary value accessible maps and big data could have on mass care in the City of Los Angeles (LA). In fact, under Jimmy’s leadership, the Department of Recreation and Parks was the very first City of LA department to adopt SALUS. Jimmy transformed the mass care management processes, utilizing SALUS to make data-informed estimations of the impacted population and identification of the number and location of optimal recreation centers that should be used as shelters.

Jimmy and his team also transformed SALUS—they are the brain trust behind the SALUS Mass Care Management Tool, which they and other SALUS partners utilize to streamline situational awareness and logistics.

The second 2019 SALUS Trailblazer is Brian Buchner, Chief of Homelessness Operations and Street Strategies in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. More than two years ago, Brian created the first Citywide working group on homelessness, which turned into a signature model of interdepartmental collaboration led by Mayor Garcetti. In this process, Brian drove the creation of the City’s Unified Homelessness Response Center (UHRC), of which SALUS is a centerpiece. One of Brian’s nominations captured his Trailblazer status perfectly:

By partnering with HSA Council, Brian has connected the UHRC with the essential tools needed to support their critical work on the homeless strategy. SALUS has helped us demarcate traveling hot spots of unsheltered homeless, and has enabled us to quickly respond to calls for street cleaning. SALUS has helped us track our progress against open tickets filed by constituents. With SALUS and with Brian’s leadership, the UHRC has offered deft and humane responses to homelessness across Los Angeles.

Additionally, Brian facilitated the adoption of SALUS by several of the City departments, some of which now utilize SALUS for crisis and event management beyond the UHRC. His influence has had a critical impact on the City of LA’s integration of GIS and big data by crisis managers, first responders, and policy makers.

As their work demonstrates, both Jimmy and Brian are true SALUS Trailblazers.