REPORT IDENTIFIES POLICIES FOR MAKING US HEALTH SECTOR MORE RESILIENT TO MAJOR DISASTERS
The health sector in the United States would be far better positioned to manage medical care needs during emergencies of any scale by empowering existing healthcare coalitions to connect community resilience efforts with a network of hospitals equipped to handle disasters, according to a new report by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
The report, “A Framework for Healthcare Disaster Resilience: A View to the Future,” was released at a February 22 event at the National Press Club.
“We wondered what an optimal system would look like and how we would get there,” said Eric Toner, MD, a senior scholar at the Center and principal investigator on the report. “Change is needed, but the change should be evolutionary, not revolutionary. We need to build on the resources we already have.”
Toner’s coauthors on the report are Center colleagues Monica Schoch-Spana, PhD, Richard Waldhorn, MD, Matthew Shearer, MPH, and Tom Inglesby, MD. The team first identified four distinct categories of disasters that could cause significant illness or injury, and for which preparedness gaps likely exist due to differing operational challenges and resource needs. A subsequent gap analysis confirmed their theory: While the US health sector is reasonably well prepared for relatively small mass injury/illness events that happen frequently (e.g., tornadoes, local disease outbreaks), it is less prepared for large-scale disasters (e.g., hurricanes) and complex mass casualty events (e.g., bombings) and poorly prepared for catastrophic health events (e.g., severe pandemics, large-scale bioterrorism)…
‘Really extreme’ global weather event leaves scientists aghast
Climate scientists are used to seeing the range of weather extremes stretched by global warming but few episodes appear as remarkable as this week’s unusual heat over the Arctic.
Zack Labe, a researcher at the University of California at Irvine, said average daily temperatures above the northern latitude of 80 degrees have broken away from any previous recordings in the past 60 years…