Preparing for Disasters and Terrorism

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Systems and Information Engineering Colloquium

1:30 – 2:45 pm

Olsson 011 , University of Virginia

Preparing for Disasters and Terrorism: Observations, current Federal programs and opportunities for improving preparedness

Mark A. Kirk, MD; Medical Director, UVA Medical Simulation Center; Associate Professor, Departments of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics

Preparedness and resilience are keys to surviving disasters.  Preparing for and responding to large-scale chemical accidents and acts of terrorism present significant problems for communities.  In order to save lives, communities, states and Federal government need a synergic, comprehensive overarching strategic plan.  In addition, the key elements for success include promoting a culture of preparedness, breaking down the silos, creating an interconnected, information sharing response community and training through realistic rehearsal.  History clearly identifies expected challenges we will face in a disaster.  We must understand these challenges more thoroughly through research and develop innovative processes to confront them.  This session is intended to provide an overview of challenges during disasters, a description of the elements of the emergency response system and an opportunity to discover potential collaborative research endeavors.

Mark Kirk is a board certified emergency medicine and medical toxicology physician with extensive field experience in prehospital medicine, emergency medicine, critical care toxicology, large-scale hazardous materials and chemical terrorism incident response, mass gathering medical care and disaster medicine.  He has extensive teaching experience with innovative technologies and traditional modalities.  He led the creation of several academic medical education programs including the development of the UVA Medical Simulation Center.  He recently completed a four-year tour with the Federal government where he created and led the Chemical Defense Program within the Department of Homeland Security.  He operates extensively across the Federal interagency and regional and state levels regarding public health preparedness.

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