Author Archive

Advances in Medical Countermeasures for Chemical Terrorism

With the potential to kill thousands in a single attack, chemical warfare agents have been an ongoing threat to nations around the world since World War I. Although efforts have been made to reduce the production and stockpiling of these deadly chemicals, there remains a need not only to stockpile

Emerging Technology Enables Mass Patient Evacuations

From time to time, hospitals themselves can be dangerous to a patient’s health. That is particularly true when a patient is being transferred or evacuated, and even more so when a large number of patients are being evacuated at the same time. This is precisely why RFIDs, JPATS, and GPS

The Public Health Ethics of Contagion

The recent film Contagion illustrates the challenges a society may experience when facing a rapidly spreading and highly lethal virus. Director Steven Soderbergh carefully constructed the film to reflect a realistic public health and medical response to a severe pandemic. Many of the technical public health aspects of the film

Public Health and Medical Interoperability Challenges

Rapid advances in telemedicine and in the computerization of medical records are now the norm, but are made extremely complicated by – well, by other rapid advances in telemedicine and in the computerization of medical records. Additional breakthroughs are still possible, and highly desired. The pace of progress should perhaps

Mass Evacuation of Medical and Functional Needs Populations

It is reasonable to expect that, when the population of a community – or nation – grows, the need for a mass evacuation of some type will grow at the same pace. That need increases exponentially, though: (a) when catastrophic weather events occur with greater frequency; and/or (b) in the

Public Health Emergency Resilience: The Next Challenging Step

The four keys to maintaining and improving the nation’s public health and emergency preparedness, according to HSPD-21 and other policy directives, are improved capabilities in bio-surveillance, countermeasures distribution, mass-casualty care, and community resilience. Considerable progress has been made in upgrading the first three of those essential “components” – but the

Functional Needs Support Services: A New Paradigm in Emergency Shelter Operations

Everyone in any given community throughout the world suffers when a hurricane, earthquake, or other disaster occurs. Those who suffer the most, though, are usually those already suffering from other problems, specifically including medical impairments that make it difficult to function on their own, or even with assistance. Fortunately, new

Meeting the Challenge: Public Health Emergencies & the Special Needs Populations

Dealing with earthquakes, hurricanes, and/or terrorist attacks is difficult enough for first responders as well as emergency managers. Add to that, though, the need to protect, provide medical care for, and/or possibly transport people suffering from various medical problems makes the challenge exponentially more difficult. Once again, advance planning and

Public Health Security for Mass Gatherings

A mass gathering has been defined by the World Health Organization as a planned or unplanned event at which the number of attendees is “sufficient to strain the planning and response resources of the community, state, or nation.” Fortunately, the strategies needed to address the public health challenge represented by

Mass Prophylaxis: The Brass Ring of Public Health Preparedness

It sounds like a mission impossible, but U.S. public health officials are determined to find a way to provide pandemic medications, within 48 hours, to everyone within a major metropolitan area endangered by pandemic influenza or a potentially lethal bioterrorism attack.

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Article Out Loud – Five Key Domains of Incident Management

  Full article by Aaron Clark-Ginsberg, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, July 10, 2024. In this feature article, a behavioral social scientist lists five key domains that can help incident management teams assess and improve their effectiveness. Effective incident management is a set of activities, not simply boxes

Article Out Loud – Jane Doe – Responding to Vulnerable Patients

  Full article by Catherine L. Feinman, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, June 26, 2024. In this feature article, the editor of Domestic Preparedness shares the real-life story of a medical crew who responded to a call that left a lasting impression. Despite the prevalence of first responders

Article Out Loud – Invisible Chains: Human Trafficking, Drug Abuse, and Support

  Full article by Sandra Dennis-Essig, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, June 19, 2024. In this feature article, an emergency manager collaborated with the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking as an advocate, speaker, and survivor to share trauma-informed care and advocacy that first responders, legislators, and others

Article Out Loud – Fentanyl Hazards and Detection

  Full article by Ashley Bradley and Kristin Omberg, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, June 12, 2024. In this feature article, a biomedical scientist and a senior technical advisor share new ways scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are expanding detection strategies and technologies to keep responders safe. The

Article Out Loud – A Modern Take on an Age-Old Biological Weapon

  Full article by Raphael M. Barishansky, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, June 12, 2024. In this feature article, a public health leader shares his perspective on the recent reports of North Korea launching balloons filled with fecal matter and propaganda into South Korea. Could similar tactics be

Article Out Loud – The Nexus Between Drug and Human Trafficking

  Full article by Richard Schoeberl, Jeff Bolettieri, and Bill Loucks, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, June 5, 2024. In this feature article, three professionals with extensive law enforcement experience describe how transnational criminal organizations are using their experience in drug trafficking to utilize routes and operating procedures

Article Out Loud – A Plan to Protect the Youngest Children

  Full article by Marie O’Connell, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, June 5, 2024. In this feature article, the executive director of a non-profit organization serving children and educators describes a safety program in Florida that is free to schools. Most educational and training programs for protecting schools

Article Out Loud – A Critical Imperative for Natural Hazards

  Full article by Sandra Dennis-Essig, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, May 29, 2024. In this feature article, an emergency management professional describes how communities can take a comprehensive preparedness approach to mitigate the potentially devastating effects of natural hazards by integrating the intricate interrelations of physical, social,

Article Out Loud – Key Bridge Collapse: Unity of Effort

  Full article by Michael Prasad, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, May 22, 2024. In this feature article, a Certified Emergency Manager and senior research analyst provides an update on the unity of effort involved in the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse effort in Baltimore, Maryland. Together, many

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