Highlights from the 2019 Inaugural Conference

Focus on Health Professions Education and Healthcare Delivery

The devastation wrought by powerful hurricanes within the last two years attests to the need to prepare healthcare professionals to anticipate and respond to disasters. The 2019 International Conference on Disaster Medicine and Hurricane Resiliency was organized to bring together physicians, nurses, educators, and other professionals to explore disaster medicine in the context of the threat posed by hurricanes and other severe weather events.

Hosted by the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) and in cooperation with Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians (HMFP) of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the conference was held March 8-11, 2019 on AUC's medical sciences campus on the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten. In addition to sharing research and best practices around disaster management, the conference marked the launch of the new Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine (CCDM), an AUC center of excellence created to foster collaboration among professionals responsible for healthcare delivery, disaster preparedness, emergency response, and medical education. The CCDM aims to play a lead role in advancing the Caribbean region’s capacity to prepare for and respond to major disasters.


2019 Conference Highlights

  • More than 280 attendees representing 12 countries including 9 Caribbean islands
  • Presentations, panel discussions, and workshops led by more than 50 experts
  • Perspectives on the recent experience of Hurricane Irma from both the Dutch (Sint Maarten) and French (St. Martin) sides of the conference’s host island
  • A diverse group of speakers and delegates representing many aspects of disaster preparedness and response: disaster medicine and veterinary medicine, nursing, hospital administration, mental health, telehealth, EMS and first responders, disaster recovery and humanitarian assistance, medical education, and more.

Conference Photos

Check out photos from our 2019 conference, including select images from our opening ceremony, speaker presentations, and poster exhibit hall.

Conference Presentations

A combined slideshow featuring a sample of presentations delivered at this year's conference, including by:

  • James Aiken, MD, MHA, FACEP, Clinical Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Public Health, Co-Chair of the Division of Disaster Medicine and EMS, LSU Health Science Center New Orleans, LA
  • Wesley Bissett, PhD, DVM, Director of Veterinary Emergency Team and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Vincent Bounes, MD, PhD, SAMU 31, Toulouse Hospital and Toulouse University
  • Jennifer Couvillon, RN-BC, PhD, CNE, Campus President, Chamberlain University New OrleansOchsner Campus
  • Laurent Gout, MD, SAMU 31, Toulouse University Hospital
  • Mark Keim, MD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, DisasterDoc, LLC; Faculty Member, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Fellowship in Disaster Medicine; Adjunct Professor, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University
  • Selwyn Mahon, MD, AUC Disaster Medicine Fellowship Co-Director and Medical Director, Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine 
  • Mark Quirk, EdD, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine; Executive Director, Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine 
  • Mary Russell, EdD, MSN, Emergency Nurse, Boca Raton General Hospital; Past Chair, Healthcare Emergency Response Coalition of Palm Beach County 
  • Ritu Sarin, MD, Associate Director, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Fellowship in Disaster Medicine
  • Tener Goodwin Veenema, PhD, MPH, MS, RN, FAAN, Professor of Nursing and Public Health, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health