Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR)

See the following -

Pandemics Are the Mother of Invention

Many believe that the Allies won WWII in large part because of how industry in the U.S. geared up to produce fantastic amounts of weapons and other war materials. It took some time for businesses to retool and get production lines flowing, during which the Axis powers made frightening advances, but once they did it was only a matter of time until the Allies would prevail. Similarly, COVID-19 is making scary inroads around the world, while businesses are still gearing up to produce the number of ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE), tests, and other badly needed supplies. COVID-19 is currently outnumbering these efforts, but eventually we'll get the necessary equipment in the needed amounts. Eventually. What intrigues me, though, is how people are innovating, inventing new solutions to the shortages we face. I want to highlight a few of these:

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Resilience Must Be Blind to Catalyst - Part II

If this is the first time you are reading something from me, let me introduce you to a phrase I coined in the early 2000s: "resilience (and continuity) is blind to the catalyst." My oft-repeated comment was to present an alternative to the emergency management foundations that were creeping into the continuity lexicon, whereby contingency planning is typically done with a "commensurate with the hazard" or "capabilities-based" approach. Resilience is and must be viewed with a much higher level of consideration…and NOT limited to specific hazards or capabilities. As I most certainly just ruffled feathers of some of my dearest and most deeply respected emergency management professionals, let me explain.

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Rock Around The Resilience Wheel - Continuity of Operations Through Disruptive Change

As 2020 comes to a close we are still faced with myriad issues pertaining to public health, elections, economic duress and recovery, unemployment, and living under persistent, pendular change. Resilience has become a popular buzzword to get through these times but is utilized to mean very different things to people looking through very different lenses. Diverse definitions are great but at some point, at some higher and comprehensive perspective, a bow must be put around a common resilience baseline. In layman’s terms, resilience is getting through disruptions and change with some foresight and planning. Resilience matters regardless of the lens you are viewing it through. Covenant Park has coined several catchphrases over our several decades of resilience, risk, continuity, emergency management, security, and national and international planning and execution. Some of those phrases include:

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Sure Strategies for Improving Health and Education: 2020 and Beyond

Our paths cross as we enter a new decade and consider the next ten years can lead to marked improvements in healthcare delivery - something sorely needed but doable. To that end, we've identified three key developments that can and should be implemented. These are not the only needed improvements and avenues to be pursued; that would take a book or a longer article. So, we've focused on what are, for us, three of the most innovative possibilities. One added word: some of the three innovations or aspects of them may strike readers as fanciful or imaginary or over-the-proverbial-top. But, the speed with which technology is changing, the pressing need for solutions and our capacities to consider new paradigms for solving old problems are converging.

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The Need for Speed - It's Time to Act!

As a society we also need to get moving on the population level as well - and the sooner the better! In his fascinating genomic epidemiology detective work Trevor Bedford conducted based on the COVID-19 research he and his team had done in the Bedford lab in Seattle WA, he concluded that the narrow testing that was done in the Seattle area in the early days of the Coronavirus spread allowed the virus to spread faster. In contrast, the Coronavirus testing-blitz in South Korea appears to keep the death rate lower than it could be. It's time to test! The FDA gave high-tech labs the green light to operate tests before receiving any agency review or authorization and both Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp already announced that they have test in the market. But according to CDC, as of March 8 there were only 1,707 tests performed in the US vs. 189,236 in South Korea.

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The World Knows an Apocalyptic Pandemic Is Coming

[Laurie Garrett | Foreign Policy | September 20, 2019

A new independent report compiled at the request of the United Nations secretary-general warns that there is a "very real threat" of a pandemic sweeping the planet, killing up to 80 million people. A deadly pathogen, spread airborne around the world, the report says, could wipe out almost 5 percent of the global economy. And we're not ready. The ominous analysis was compiled by an independent panel, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), which was assembled last year in response to a request from the office of the U.N. secretary-general, and convened jointly by the World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO). Co-chaired by the former WHO head and former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland and the head of the international Red Cross, Elhadj As Sy, the GPMB commissioned expert studies and issued a scathing attack on the political, financial, and logistical state of pandemic preparedness affairs.

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US Senate Releases Draft Future Pandemic Preparedness Plan - Asks for Feedback

On June 10, 2020 the US Senate released a white paper titled "Preparing for the Next Pandemic" under the signature of Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. The white paper has five recommendations to address future pandemics based on lessons learned from COVID-19 and the past 20 years of pandemic planning. "The five recommendations...along with a series of questions at the end of this white paper, are intended to elicit recommendations that Congress can consider and act on this year," Senator Alexander said in a statement, adding that "I am inviting comments, responses, and any additional recommendations for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to consider. This feedback will be shared with my colleagues, both Democrat and Republican." This feedback from the public will be accepted until June 26, 2020... Read More »

Using Open Technology To Build a Biodefense Against the Coronavirus

As the number of US cases of the coronavirus rises, how will healthcare professionals be able to tell the difference between which panicked patients with similar symptoms has what? Even if the patient hasn't traveled to Wuhan or China recently, what if they sat at a Starbucks with someone who did? With the incubation time-lag before symptoms appear, who would even know? The challenge of monitoring 330 million people for infectious disease outbreaks is daunting. Take the flu as an example. During the last flu season which, as already discussed, was not as complex as this year's season, approximately 35.5 million Americans had flu symptoms, 16.5 million received medical care, 490,600 were hospitalized and 34,200 died.

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Using the Latest Advances in Data Science to Fight Infectious Diseases

One of the most dramatic shifts in recent years that is empowering epidemiologists to be more effective at their jobs is occurring due to improvements in data technologies. In the past, the old "relational" data model dictated that data had to be highly structured, and as a result treated in distinct silos. This made it difficult, if not impossible, to analyze data from multiple sources to find correlations. Epidemiologists would spend many minutes or even hours on each query they ran to get results back, which is unacceptable when you need to test dozens of hypotheses to try to understand and contain a fast-moving outbreak. (Imagine how you would feel if each one of your Google searches took 45 minutes to return!) By contrast, using newer technologies, the same queries on the same hardware can run in seconds. Read More »

VA's Hurricane Relief Efforts Extend Beyond Veterans

Johnathon Clinkscales | American Legion | October 5, 2017

The American Legion met with VA leadership on Sept. 29 to learn what humanitarian aid VA is, and has been, providing to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida and Texas..."There are 60 civilian hospitals in Puerto Rico, many of which are still inoperative, don't have power or have serious damage. There's only one hospital that is like the beacon in Puerto Rico and that is the VA medical center - seeing people, taking care of everybody we can and feeding everybody we can."..."We did a lot of preparing and started sending stuff down there before the hurricane. Now we're using these resources to take care of non-veterans and civilians until the hospitals - that are either damaged, incapable of operating or we don't know the condition of - come back into the system and then we'll transfer them. It is certainly necessary for a humanitarian effort like this," Loren said...

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TEDxAUCMed - Weathering the Storm

Event Details
Type: 
Conference
Date: 
October 17, 2019 (All day)

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine presents TEDxAUCMed, our inaugural TEDx conference. TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. The theme of this year's event is "Weathering the Storm," and we are excited to present a diverse group of speakers whose insight and experiences will energize us to reflect on our world, our communities, and our own lives. The conference will be held in Lecture Hall 2. We are excited to bring the TEDx experience to AUC and the island of Sint Maarten and look forward to sharing in this experience with you.

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2020 International Conference on Disaster Medicine and Hurricane Resiliency

Event Details
Type: 
Conference
Date: 
March 26, 2020 (All day) - March 29, 2020 (All day)

The 2nd Annual CCDM International Conference on Disaster Medicine and Hurricane Resiliency will gather professionals and experts from around the world to share insights and expertise on preparing for and managing disasters, building disaster management capacity, and educating and training in the health professions. We are once again excited to collaborate on this event with Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and our regional partners in Sint Maarten and the Caribbean.

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