UA College of Medicine – Tucson Preps for Future Disaster with Federal Training Workshop

February 27, 2019
Leadership from federal and community health agencies will convene at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson for a disaster research training workshop. The workshop will help participants better prepare for a mass disaster that affects the health of the community at large.

EVENT:                  UA College of Medicine – Tucson Preps for Future Disaster with Federal Training Workshop

Leadership from federal and community health agencies will convene at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson for a disaster research training workshop. The workshop will help participants better prepare for a mass disaster that affects the health of the community at large.

DATE/TIME:           THURSDAY, FEB. 28, 9:45 A.M.

LOCATION:             University of Arizona Cancer Center, Kiewit Auditorium, 1515 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson


If a train derailed in Tucson causing a massive chemical spill, hundreds of community members may need to be evacuated and dozens would arrive at the hospital experiencing serious health effects. How would Tucson officials respond?

That’s the purpose of a meeting and training workshop this week at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

Spearheaded by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Disaster Research Response Program (DR2), the exercise will bring together emergency responders such as the Pima County Office of Emergency Management, the Pima County Health Department and the Tucson Fire Department.

Together, physicians, researchers, public health specialists, emergency responders, federal leadership and others will go over the disaster scenario to develop a plan to best collect data needed to protect Tucsonans, limit hazardous chemical exposure and help victims who are experiencing serious health effects.

“Disaster responses are a team effort with an interdisciplinary team of members from city, county, state and federal government partners and nongovernmental organizations and industry, all working together for the common good of those living, working and travelling through a community,” said Frank Walter, MD, professor of emergency medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. “This exercise has assembled just such a team to help our community prepare for an accidental chemical release, such as happened in Graniteville, South Carolina, when a rail accident released a tank car full of chlorine gas.”

During the meeting, participants will review the disaster scenario; learn how to quickly evaluate chemical exposures and potential health risks; and receive advice on how to determine what data is available and which organizations are collecting it. Attendees also will learn how to collaborate across organizations to share data that will inform how the community can best be treated and protected during such disasters.

Other UA entities that will participate in the Feb. 28-March 1 exercise include the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, UA College of Pharmacy and the UA BIO5 Institute.


About the UA College of Medicine – Tucson

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is shaping the future of medicine through state-of-the-art medical education programs, groundbreaking research and advancements in patient care in Arizona and beyond. Founded in 1967, the college boasts more than 50 years of innovation, ranking among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care. Through the university's partnership with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, the college is leading the way in academic medicine. For more information, please visit medicine.arizona.edu.

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