Carilion Clinic: Protecting Children During a Disaster

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Protecting Children During a Disaster

Carilion Clinic Hosts Conference to Improve Planning, Readiness

Carilion Clinic hosted a regional conference at the Hotel Roanoke today aimed at improving Virginia's ability to meet the needs of children during a disaster situation. Protecting children during a natural or man-made disaster can be challenging, particularly if the event occurs while children are at school or on school buses, separated from their families.

Conference speakers included Terry Adirim, MD, MPH, acting Associate Chief Medical Officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Alice Ackerman, MD, Chair of Pediatrics for Carilion Clinic, Joan E. Shook, MD, Chief of Emergency Medicine with Texas Children's Hospital and Lisa Uherick, MD, Medical Director for Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Carilion Clinic.

The day-long conference ended with work groups addressing the roles of; community hospitals, EMS/first responders and schools/daycare centers. Organizers hope the conference will lead to improved coordination between all agencies involved and ensure that future disaster plans take the needs of children into account.