“As an emergency planner, SPARC membership helps me sharpen my professional skills and network with other emergency responders.  Through SPARC any emergency planner, responder or  resident of southern Illinois can learn about and be part of regional planning, response, and recovery work.  By working together, we can be more organized in our actions that will help save lives and reduce suffering when a disaster or emergency strikes.”

– Ronda Koch, Director of Emergency Preparedness, Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department, Herrin, Illinois resident

Why We Exist

     The Shawnee Preparedness and Response Coalition (SPARC) exists to support individuals, families, businesses, local governments, and regional planners in becoming more resilient and better able to respond to disasters in Southern Illinois. By working together in preparing, training, networking, and responding, we can accomplish much more than we could individually.

Our History

     For many years emergency management agencies, hospitals, health departments, and other entities in Southern Illinois have planned and prepared separately for disasters. This planning involved multiple meetings and collaborative efforts with many different community partners. As time went on, these groups and others continued to meet and enhance collaboration through networking, training, and exercising together. In 2012, the different regional meetings happening within various disciplines in Southern Illinois combined in an effort to become more efficient and help eliminate duplication of effort.

     The first official SPARC meeting was held at the Marion Pavilion on April 9, 2013 and in addition to hospitals, health departments, and emergency management agencies in the region, representatives from local, state, and federal response agencies, state associations, volunteer organizations, and other community partners have attended subsequent SPARC meetings. The coalition is governed by a multi-disciplinary Executive Committee and is guided by the coalition By-Laws and Strategic Plan to ensure the needs of the membership and communities in the SPARC region are met.

Our Mission

     The Shawnee Preparedness and Response Coalition (SPARC) mission is to develop and maintain an integrated, diverse network of organizations in Southern Illinois in order to increase planning, mitigation, response, recovery, and overall resiliency in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

Our Activities

  •   Combine current preparedness groups in the region into one coalition truly representing the “Whole Community.”
  • Recruit appropriate individuals, businesses, groups, and local units of government to enhance our preparedness and response capabilities.
  • Provide educational resources to assist the individual, business, and other organizations in becoming more prepared and resilient.
  • Serve as a centralized point for regional situational awareness, training, and exercise opportunities.
  • Provide a platform for joint planning.
  • Assist local jurisdictions with identification and sharing of resources within the region.
  • Provide support to local jurisdictions in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.
  • Provide opportunities to assist coalition membership with securing funding and pooling resources.
  • Provide a platform for adherence to national performance measures and grant requirements for all applicable entities.
  • Serve as a multi-agency coordinating group to assist with preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities.


Click the link below to download our brochure.

SPARC Brochure (349 downloads)

Keywords: Healthcare Coalition, Preparedness Coalition, Disaster Coalition, Healthcare Coalition in Southern Illinois