Rutgers College of Nursing to host Preparing for Natural Disasters Forum November 3

NEWARK, N.J. -- Michael S. Beeman, national preparedness division director and acting director for response and recovery division for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region II, will speak about national preparedness for natural disasters at the Third Annual Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases sponsored by the Nursing Center for Bioterrorism and Emerging Infectious Diseases Preparedness in collaboration with the Center for Professional Development at the College of Nursing at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

"Recent events such as the Tsunami in Indonesia and Hurricane Katrina have challenged health care professionals with extraordinary demands for services," said Felissa R. Lashley, dean and professor at the Rutgers College of Nursing and interim director of the Nursing Center for Bioterrorism and Emerging Infectious Diseases Preparedness. "This conference will present personal experiences and give us insight in how to better prepare for any future natural disasters."

The full day conference, which will discuss preparing natural disaster using simulation, infection control during a natural disaster, and lessons learned during Hurricane Katrina, will be held at the Somerset Marriott, Somerset, N.J., Friday, Nov. 3, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Last year, Beeman served 85 days as district director for Federal Response Operations in Harrison County, Mississippi, a position that he began the day before Hurricane Katrina made landfall. For his service in Mississippi he was recently awarded the Secretary of Homeland Security's Gold Medal, the organization's highest award.

Before joining FEMA, Beeman was part of the National Transportation Board team investigating the crash of Egypt Air flight 990 and in 2001 served as the lead public affairs officer for the World Trade Center disaster.

The conference will feature other speakers including Joy Spellman, director and principal investigator, Center for Public Health Preparedness; Betsy Todd, nurse epidemiologist, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center; Anie Kalayjian, board certified expert in traumatic stress and adjunct professor of psychology, Fordham University; and Doris G. Brown, deputy assistant secretary and center director for community preparedness, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, who oversaw the shelters for the Hurricane Katrina victims.

The conference registration fee is $65 per person and includes all program materials, morning refreshments and lunch. The conference is open to all health discipline professionals including but not limited to: registered nurses, advance practice nurses, nurses, physicians, health officers, public health officers, social workers, and pharmacists. It is particularly interest to those who work in the public health sector, schools and infection control and volunteers who respond to disasters. The conference is sponsored in part by a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration grant #T01HP01407.

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The Nursing Center for Bioterrorism and Emerging Infectious Diseases Preparedness, interim director, Dean Felissa R. Lashley, at Rutgers College of Nursing serves as a primary source of education, information and research initiatives for nurses, nurse practitioners, and all allied nursing personnel on practice matters relating to biological, chemical and nuclear terrorism as well as emerging infectious diseases.

From its headquarters at Rutgers Newark, Rutgers College of Nursing offers a broad range of academic programs on all three Rutgers campuses. The college offers a master's program with unique practitioner specialties and the first to offer a doctoral (Ph.D) nursing degree in New Jersey.


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