|Public Health Grand Rounds program to focus on disaster preparedness|
|March 28, 2006|
Challenges in mass evacuations, communications, environmental health
and safety are just some of the disaster preparedness vulnerabilities
that will be addressed in an upcoming broadcast on Hurricane Katrina's
"Learning from Katrina: Tough Lessons in Preparedness and Emergency Response" will be broadcast via satellite downlink and webcast from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 31 as a part of the Public Health Grand Rounds series.
Representing a partnership between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the national broadcast is geared to policy-makers, health professionals, emergency response teams and other preparedness officials.
Online registration, program information, a list of currently available sites - and the actual broadcast, on Friday afternoon and afterward - are at http://www.PublicHealthGrandRounds.unc.edu.
For those not accessing the webcast, health departments, agencies and educational centers nationwide will offer local viewing sites via satellite downlink.
Continuing education credit for various health professions will be offered based on one hour of instruction. Viewers may submit questions to the panel at interactive satellite conference sites, by fax or online.
"What is significant about this story is that in the face of almost inhuman challenges, the dedicated public health workers of Louisiana and New Orleans found the courage to persevere and the dimensions to roll up their sleeves and do whatever was required to be part of the team," said Dr. Hugh Tilson, clinical professor of epidemiology and health policy at the School of Public Health. "This teamwork helped the people to survive and now is aiding the city and its institutions, including its public health system, to recover. This story is about public health heroes."
Friday's event is the 25th program in the Public Health Grand Rounds series. Each one-hour broadcast features a case study involving a local health department and is reviewed by a panel of experts.
Joining Tilson on the panel will be: Dr. Richard Besser, director of the CDC Coordinating Office of Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response; Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services; and Dr. John Morrow, health director for Pitt County, which suffered major damage when Hurricane Floyd hit North Carolina in 1999.
The panel is moderated by Dr. William L. Roper, dean of UNC's School of Medicine, vice chancellor for medical affairs and chief executive officer of the UNC Health Care System.
Videotaped interviews will feature leaders from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, City of New Orleans Health Department, Louisiana Public Health Institute and their community partners.
A follow-up broadcast on June 9 will be "After Katrina: Building a Better Public Health System for the Future."
Previous Public Health Grand Rounds topics have included bioterrorism, asthma, autism, genetics, breast cancer screening, disaster preparedness, the West Nile virus, SARS, obesity, urban sprawl, vaccine shortages, birth defects, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, tobacco prevention and food safety. Past editions of the program may be viewed at http://www.PublicHealthGrandRounds.unc.edu.
Public Health Grand Rounds is a program of the N.C. Institute for Public Health. The institute links UNC's School of Public Health with public health professionals. It directs numerous training programs and conferences and provides consulting services to local health departments and other health organizations. The institute joins academia and the field in the latest public health initiatives such as genomics, homeland security and community design to combat obesity.
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For further information please contact Ramona DuBose either by phone at 919-966-7467 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.