The New England Society of Disaster Medicine recently held its third annual meeting at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School, which focused on humanitarian disaster assistance with discussions on disaster research and presentations from trainees.
"We’re particularly concerned about hurricanes, winter storms causing prolonged power outages, emerging infections and pandemics, active shooter incidents and terrorism," Brown Professor Dr. Selim Suner, who teaches emergency medicine, surgery and engineering at Brown and is one of the founding members of the society, said. "Unplanned information technology downtimes and cyber attacks are also emerging threats we are discussing."
The New England Society of Disaster Medicine is a collaboration between Brown University, Harvard University through Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the University of Massachusetts Worcester and Massachusetts General Hospital.
"The U.S. spends a lot of money on disaster response recovery -- less so on preparedness," Suner said. "We need to understand the epidemiology of illness and injury during disasters in order to prepare more effectively, and we need to know what works in terms of disaster response to allocate scarce resources more efficiently ... As a group of academicians and also disaster response experts with field experience, the New England Society of Disaster Medicine has the goal of bridging the gap between academics and field response."
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