Conference to Tackle Challenges and Opportunities in Disaster Response
September 08, 2006
In the aftermath of massive human and natural disasters like hostilities in Lebanon, the ongoing Darfur conflict in western Sudan, the tsunami in Indonesia or the earthquake in Pakistan, questions remain as to what could have been done better in terms of emergency preparedness and response to the humanitarian issues that followed. Beginning on September 8, a major, multidisciplinary conference will convene at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon and Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover to assess the effectiveness of responses to complex emergencies, and develop recommendations to better deal with future human-generated and natural disasters.
Dartmouth Medical School and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative will be co-hosting the inaugural Humanitarian Health Conference with more than 80 attendees expected from a wide range of organizations whose primary mission is to respond to disasters. The topic will be 'Challenges and Opportunities in Disaster Response' and the primary goal will be to construct action plans to implement recommendations for improved humanitarian health programs for disaster response in complex emergencies. Samantha Power, author of the bestseller 'The Problem Hell: America and the Age of Genocide' will address the conference participants.
"The conflict in Lebanon is just one the countless examples that emergency response organizations are faced with on an ongoing basis, and the human element is frequently tragic and overwhelming," said Dr. Mary Turco, Director of the Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. "Roads, bridges and buildings can be rebuilt, but too often human lives cannot. Through this conference we hope to develop some concrete recommendations and action steps that will ultimately help save lives and that will also mitigate the impact on the human victims of these disasters."
Humanitarian Health Conference: 'Challenges and Opportunities in Disaster Response' will run from September 8-10. Program details can be found online at www.dms.dartmouth.edu/hhc/.
Note: There will be a special media session at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 9 in Room 107 of the Hanover Inn. Available for interview will be: Dr. James Strickler, Chairman Emeritus of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Dean Emeritus of Dartmouth Medical School, Dr. Richard Brennan, Health Director of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Dr. Ronald Waldman of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.