A national plan to ensure disaster medicine training meets the needs of everyone working the front lines is underway, say recipients of a federal grant to fund the initiative.
The plan brings the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association, the National Association of EMS Physicians and the National Association for EMTs to the table with course developers at the Medical College of Georgia to ensure courses provide the information their members need.
The one-year, $428,000 grant to MCG from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration also will be used to help Georgia, Ohio, Maryland, and Texas develop state-specific plans to ensure providers there are prepared for disasters they are most likely to encounter.
The opportunity to receive input from stakeholders that will receive this training has been a goal since we started developing these courses, said Dr. Richard Schwartz, chair of the MCG Department of Emergency Medicine. This gives us the funding to make that a reality.
National Disaster Life Support Courses were developed collaboratively by MCG, the University of Georgia, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, the University of Texas at Houston School of Public Health, the American Medical Association and the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Although the lineup is continually expanding and being updated, some of the fundamental courses are older than the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, says Dr. Phillip Coule, director of the MCG Center of Operational Medicine. This gives us a framework to do major revisions with valuable input from multiple disciplines and stakeholders.
The long-term goal is to make the National Disaster Life Support Courses a national standard, much like Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Advanced Trauma Life Support, Dr. Coule says. To date, courses have been taught in nearly every state and the
Contact: Toni Baker
Medical College of Georgia