Dr. Cham Dallas wins award for paper on emergency medical preparedness at IPRED III

Dr. Cham Dallas, director of the Institute for Disaster Management at the UGA College of Public Health, received a second place award for a presentation of his research at the third annual International Conference on Healthcare Systems Preparedness and Response to Emergencies and Disaster (IPRED III) Jan. 12-15 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The award winning poster outlined a recent paper by Dr. Dallas, entitled “Lessons learned from the Second Lebanon War Experience at Western Galilee Hospital,” and detailed the disaster management protocols that led to the evacuation of the 450-bed hospital in under an hour, with no increase in morbidity or mortality, while under missile attack during the 2006 Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah.

“Unfortunately, we are entering a future where healthcare systems are not only the recipients of the many patients generated in attacks, but the deliberate targets of those attacks, and we must prepare accordingly,” said Dallas, who is also a professor in the college’s department of health policy and management.

These unique emergency management approaches are being studied in order to prepare hospitals in the United States and in other nations to enable rapid hospital evacuation while under the increased stresses expected in the future, he explained.

“Our emergency medical system is under tremendous and increasing stress, and it is critical that we invest in the enhancement of the trauma system of Georgia, or we will face unacceptable consequences for the public health of the people of this state,” Dallas said.

More than 800 practitioners and academics from over 40 countries took part in this year’s IPRED conference, which invites leading experts in disaster management, as well as academic and governing institutions, to review and assess best practices and state-of-the-art preparedness for emergencies.  The meeting is hosted by the State of Israel, the Israeli Home Front Command, and the Israeli Ministry of Health.

Dr. Dallas and the Institute for Disaster Management conduct emergency management exercises for virtually all of the over 140 hospitals in the state of Georgia, as well as nursing homes and many other stakeholders in the health care coalitions in Georgia.

Additional coverage in ASPPH Friday Letter.

Posted March 24, 2014.