Former US Surgeon General and World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine President to Deliver Keynote Addresses at Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine Conference
American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine’s Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine (CCDM) is dedicated to fostering collaboration among professionals responsible for healthcare delivery, disaster preparedness, emergency response and medical education. This critical mission is the driving force behind the CCDM’s second annual International Conference on Disaster Medicine and Hurricane Resiliency, to be held March 26-29, 2020, at AUC’s medical sciences campus in Sint Maarten. The conference will feature keynote addresses from Dr. Richard Carmona, the 17th Surgeon General of the United States, and Dr. Greg Ciottone, president of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine.
More than 2.6 billion people have been impacted by a natural disaster over the past decade, affecting everyone from the elderly, families and children to pets and livestock. In addition to the potential for mass casualties, disasters can leave survivors struggling with mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and communities battling a host of infectious diseases. With a catastrophic impact on global health, these areas will be in sharp focus for this year’s conference.
“Disasters leave communities struggling with very basic necessities, such as access to critical healthcare services. With this in mind, the CCDM was formed to increase collaboration across the Caribbean and among global experts in disaster medicine,” said Mark Quirk, Ed.D., executive director of the CCDM. “This conference is an important opportunity to bring together people from multiple professional and academic fields to share insights and experiences regarding a common interest: how to better prepare healthcare providers and the communities they serve in the face of a disaster.”
“AUC School of Medicine is honored to welcome both Dr. Carmona and Dr. Ciottone as we bring together an international community to focus on health care providers’ roles in preparation of and response to disasters in their communities,” said Dr. Heidi Chumley, executive dean, AUC School of Medicine. “We helped found the CCDM to bring greater partnership, training and resources to disaster healthcare preparation and response, and this conference continues to be a crucial component of that work.”
Dr. Carmona served as the 17th Surgeon General of the United States. He has an extensive leadership background that includes work in public health, emergency preparedness, law enforcement and healthcare management, in addition to his work as a trauma surgeon and his decorated service career in the United States Army Special Forces. Carmona is currently chief of health innovations at Canyon Ranch and distinguished professor at the University of Arizona and The Ohio State University.
Dr. Greg Ciottone is an American physician specializing in disaster and counterterrorism medicine. He is president of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine and also serves as an associate professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Division of Disaster Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
The three-day conference, organized in collaboration between the CCDM and Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Inc., provides an opportunity for attendees to receive continuing medical education (CME) credit. Healthcare professionals, administrators, educators, researchers and emergency personnel are encouraged to attend.