Our Latest News and Events.

A PDF version of our 2014 Summer Newsletter   is now available. An HTML version is available from the menu on the left.

--2013 Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Projects --

The National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Resource Center recently hosted two awardees of their 2013 Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Projects in their Disaster Info Specialist Program Meeting. NLM grants these annual awards to libraries and organizations interested in amplifying disaster preparedness through collaborative partnerships.

The presentation from Texas Health Fort Worth Medical Library focused on their partnership with Texas Health Resources Emergency Management, Texas Health Fort Worth Safety Department and MedStar EMS Mobile Healthcare. Their project focused on increasing access to NLM databases for librarians and providing access and equipment. This effort included participating in hospital drills, holding courses on NLM resources, and providing emergency management coordinators with iPads.

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health partnered with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the 2-1-1 Texas Rio Grande Region. As in Fort Worth, this partnership aimed to amplify the availability of health and emergency preparedness information. The project focused on accessibility with efforts such as creating an English/Spanish preparedness resource directory and introducing librarian staff to community health workers.

The third project, "Disaster Health Information in American Samoa", could not attend the meeting. This project is a partnership between the Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) and the Feleti Barstow Public Library and the American Samoa Government’s Public Health Department. This partnership is working towards increased disaster health information access.

More detailed information on all of these projects is available in the recent webinar by NLM DIMRC. The 2014 awardees will be announced soon.

August 14th 2014

-- National Center announces Curriculum Recommendations focused on Geriatrics --

The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health recently continued to strengthen its collaborations with the graduate schools at Uniformed Services University through the creation of a unique set of curriculum recommendations. Subject matter experts affiliated with the USU Graduate School of Nursing (GSN) and the USU Graduate School of Medicine wrote an extensive guide on curriculum recommendations for disaster health professionals with a focus on the geriatric population.

Geriatric patient receives care.

Two of the authors, Dr. Catherine G. Ling, FNP-BC and Heather Johnson, Lt Col, USAF, (ret), DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, from GSN, previously worked with NCDMPH on the curriculum recommendations for the pediatric population. They were joined by coauthor LCDR Elexis C. McBee, USN, DO, FACP from USU Graduate School of Medicine.

These peer-reviewed recommendations meet a unique need in the disaster health community. As noted in the recommendations, the Administration on Aging predicts that the number of Americans over the age of 65 will double from the years 2000 to 2030. This projected surge in population necessitates increased competency of the disaster health workforce to meet the needs of the geriatric demographic. These curriculum recommendations aim to fill this particular knowledge gap.

These recommendations are not a prescriptive curriculum, but rather provide educators an opportunity to find content that meets their learners’ needs. The National Center thanks the work of the authors as well as the contributions made by the subject matter expert reviewers. Visit our main curriculum recommendations page to access recent and past curriculum recommendations.

August 5th 2014

-- FEMA Announces 2014-2015 Youth Preparedness Leaders --

FEMA recently announced the newest leaders on their Youth Preparedness Council. This unique organization is dedicated to increasing preparedness through organized programs and services directed at children and teens. Each council member works on a self-designed project during their term on the council as well as attends the Youth Preparedness Summit. Council members are based in the different FEMA regions.

Tiffany Espensen Assists in CERT Training

The Youth Preparedness Council is integral to implementing the goals outlined in the National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education: Empowering, Education and Building Resiliency PDF . This strategy "is a call to our Nation to educate youth about actions that they and their families can take" towards family and community preparedness and resiliency. Although children face significant vulnerabilities, children’s engagement in disaster preparedness programs can offer the following benefits:

  • "Empowered youth can help engage their families, their peers, and their communities in disaster readiness:" When children show interest in aspects of disaster preparedness, such as building emergency kits, parents learn alongside them. Children can also spread this knowledge to their communities by assuming leadership roles in their youth preparedness organizations.

  • "Youth are empowered through understanding of risks and knowing protective actions:" By participating in preparedness programming, children are more confident in a disaster.

  • "Today’s prepared students are tomorrow's prepared adults:" Youth who participate in preparedness programs at a younger age will carry those skills into adult hood.

Communities can start youth preparedness programs via the guidance of FEMA's Youth Preparedness: Implementing a Community-Based Program PDF . This guide assists leaders in identifying program resources, engaging partners, and determining curriculum for an effective youth preparedness program.

The National Center applauds communities that engage in youth preparedness programs. We hope they’ll consider NCDMPH resources when creating and implementing their preparedness programs.

July 29th 2014

-- FEMA and American Radio Relay League sign Memorandum of Agreement --

In mid-July, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the national association for amateur radio, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate signed the agreement at the ARRL National Centennial Convention in Hartford, CT.

Ham radio

The agreement formalizes the important role the amateur radio community plays when other modes of communications are disabled. FEMA and ARRL will also cooperate on providing personnel and services in order to strengthen disaster communication.

The ARRL is composed of amateur radio operators, otherwise known as hams. The ARRL considers public service, including emergency communication services, a critical part of their mission. The ARRL offers an emergency communications training for future emergency communications volunteers as well as information on equipment for ham operators.

FEMA and ARRL formal relationship began in 2003 through a signed partnership via Citizen Corps. The partnership aimed to raise awareness about amateur radio’s role in public safety.

The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health congratulates FEMA and ARRL on further fortifying this unique partnership.

July 18th 2014

-- NCDMPH Announces Keynote Speakers for LDH Workshop 2014 --

The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health is excited to announce the two keynote speakers for the Learning in Disaster Health Workshop 2014 (LDH '14). LDH '14 is an interdisciplinary academic forum focused on education and training in disaster health. Registration for LDH '14 comes at no additional cost and will be held September 9-10, 2014 in the DC Metropolitan Area.

Edward J. Gabriel, MPA, EMT-P, CEM, CBCP will give the opening keynote. Mr. Gabriel is currently the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service. In this capacity, Mr. Gabriel supports HHS in their programs, policies, and activities related to emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. In addition, Mr. Gabriel also serves on the National Advisory Council for FEMA.

The closing keynote will be presented by Arthur L. Kellermann, MD; MPH. Dr. Kellermann recently joined the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences as the Dean of the F. Edward Herbert School of Medicine. Previously, Dr. Kellermann held the Paul-O’Neill-Alcoa Chair in Policy Analysis at RAND. In addition, Dr. Kellermann was a professor of emergency medicine and public health as well as associate dean for health policy at the Emery School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA.

The National Center thanks both Mr. Gabriel and Mr. Kellermann for dedicating their time to this event. NCDMPH looks forward to the insight and knowledge all the speakers will bring to audiences at LDH ’14.

To learn more about LDH '14, search the #LDH14 hashtag on Twitter and continue to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

July 2nd, 2014

-- CDC Release Mobile App focused on Blast Injury --

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a free mobile app focused on blast injury. iPhone and iPad users can find it in the app store under CDC Blast Injury. The app provides information for the disaster health workforce to use throughout a blast event. It addresses a variety of health providers including prehospital healthcare providers, hospital healthcare providers, and public health professionals. The app goes into detail regarding safety information for healthcare responders as well as population behavior after a blast event.

CDC Blast Injury mobile app

The app is organized into four categories:

  • Understanding Blast and Explosive Events

  • Assessing & Treating Blast Injuries

  • Tools for Healthcare Providers and Public Health Professionals

  • Quick Reference Guide

The injuries section is a detailed guide on treating a variety of injuries. Each injury section includes information on how to treat a pediatric patient with that particular injury. In addition, the app provides details on how to assess the behavioral health of patients and providers. A variety of CDC-related resources are embedded throughout all of the sections. Users can also use the provided RSS feeds which links to various CDC disaster health blogs.

This app is also accessible on the National Center's "Resilience through Learning: Explosions & Mass Gatherings" page under "Resources: Blast." The Resilience through Learning series provides event-specific content for disaster health educators and learners.

To learn more about mobile apps focused on disaster medicine and public health, visit the National Library of Medicine's Disaster Information Management Resource Group's app page.