NASHVILLE, Tenn. ó Vanderbilt University Medical Center has several health care experts available for stories related to the devastating tsunami in Asia. Please call the News and Public Affairs Office (615-322-4747) for availability of any one of these expert sources:
William Schaffner, M.D., chair of Preventive Medicine, member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, national expert on infectious diseases
Dr. Schaffner is available to speak on the public health crisis facing the areas hit by this tsunami and the types of disease outbreak that could occur, including cholera and other communicable diseases.
Seth Wright, M.D., associate professor of Emergency Medicine, Director of the Middle Tennessee Medical Reserve Corps
Dr. Wright has been touched personally by this disaster. His father currently lives in Phuket,
. Dr. Wright’s major academic interests are in infectious diseases and pain control, and he is currently working on a specialty in tropical medicine. He is currently serving as Medical Director of the Middle Tennessee Medical Reserve Corps, a volunteer agency in Tennessee designed to respond to local disaster situations. Dr. Wright can speak about the topography of the area hit by the disaster, health concerns, and the long-term planning needed for this type of disaster.
Carol Etherington, M.S.N., assistant professor of Nursing; president of the USA Board of Doctors Without Borders, international volunteer expert
Etherington has traveled to
as a member of Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders. She is currently the President of the Board of Directors for MSF
. She has also traveled to the Thai-Cambodia border with the International Medical Corps, and the International Red Cross and specifically worked to fight the spread of cholera in that region. Etherington has also worked on several missions within U.S. borders, including the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001 in New York City, the 1994 earthquake in Los Angeles, Hurricane Andrew in Florida in 1992, and other natural disasters and emergency situations here in Nashville.
Peter Wright, M.D., director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Patient Care Emphasis: Viral and Bacterial Infections, New Vaccines, Pediatric HIV Infection, International Medicine, and Immunodeficiency Status
Dr. Wright has been to
a number of times over the years, during and following both natural and man-made disasters.
has seen the same type of devastation currently being seen in the six countries hit by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Dr. Wright can speak about the progression of disease after disasters of this sort, especially among children in the area. He can also talk about the impact on the surrounding communities and about the type of aid that will be crucial to avoid more waves of death from the diseases that follow in these types of catastrophes.
Colleen Conway-Welch. Ph.D., Dean of the Vanderbilt School of Nursing
Conway-Welch is the founding Director of the International Nursing Coalition for Mass Casualty Education
(INCMCE), an organization hosted by the Vanderbilt School of Nursing. The Coalition developed a five-year
strategic plan for the Department of Health and Human Services to deliver a national curriculum to health care
providers for mass casualty education. Dean Conway-Welch also coordinated with Vanderbilt University
Medical Center to form the National Center for Emergency Preparedness (NCEP). The NCEP was
established to train medical and health care providers and emergency responders in planning for and
responding to mass casualty incidents (MCI) and incidents involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
She can speak about the enormity of disaster response on this kind of scale.
Stephen Guillot, Director of the National Center for Emergency Preparedness
Guillot serves as Director of the National Center for Emergency Preparedness, housed at Vanderbilt. Guillot has extensive expertise in disaster preparedness and could speak about future plans to improve safety and current joint-relief efforts internationally.
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