My ongoing academic and research goal is to continue to grow the field of Disaster Medicine, with a focus on the development of innovative educational programs and operational integration. Over my 25 years’ experience in Emergency Medicine, Disaster Medicine and Emergency Management, I have consulted in more than 30 countries around the world, and have taught as a visiting professor in programs at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium, Tel Aviv University in Israel, and the Universita del Piemonte Orientale in Italy. I have also consulted for the US State Department, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and the White House Medical Unit, a position I continue in today. In 2019 I was elected President of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM), the oldest international emergency and disaster medicine organization with members from over 60 countries.
My field experience includes over 500 missions as a flight surgeon on a LifeFlight helicopter service, and deploying to numerous crises around the world. I worked with the United States Agency for International Development in the 1990s to create and implement disaster medical education programs that trained over 75,000 healthcare providers throughout the former Soviet Union, and later led an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) nuclear accident preparedness program for Eastern Europe. I also served as commander of one of the first federal disaster teams (DMAT Massachusetts-2) into Ground Zero during the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11/2001.
The science of Disaster Medicine encompasses the healthcare needs around mitigation, preparedness, and response for these low frequency – high acuity events. I have recently launched a new initiative to enhance the integration of academics and research with disaster operations through the creation of centers of excellence around the world. In my determination, building resiliency to both natural and man-made disasters is dependent on that integration.