[act-ma] 5/3 - Disaster Preparedness in Massachusetts: Ready? Or Not?

Ford Hall Forum info at fordhallforum.neu.edu
Thu Apr 26 14:38:59 PDT 2007

The Ford Hall Forum and the Massachusetts Medical Society

Disaster Preparedness in Massachusetts:
Ready? Or Not?

Paul D. Biddinger and Lisa Stone
moderated by Stephen Smith

Thursday, May 3, at 6:30-8:00 pm
at the
Old South Meeting House
(directions at www.fordhallforum.org/directions.html)


Real and predicted calamities during the last decade have placed a sharp
focus on America's need to prepare for disaster. In particular, Hurricane
Katrina showed the nation just how devastating a lack of preparation can be.
Massachusetts now faces a host of questions about our ability to respond to
emergency situations ‹ whether it is an LNG tank explosion or an avian flu
pandemic. Officials are raising their voices to say we need to do more, and
do it soon. But is anyone listening?  With the State Legislature yet to act
on a pandemic preparations bill and hospital emergency rooms throughout the
Commonwealth already operating beyond capacity, just how ready is our state
to cope with a major disaster? What really needs to be done to prepare? And
what are the consequences of inaction?

The evening¹s program will feature Paul D. Biddinger (MD, FACEP, chairman of
the Massachusetts Medical Society Committee on Preparedness, and physician
at Massachusetts General Hospital) and Lisa Stone (MD, Hospital Preparedness
Coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Public Health). The discussion will
be moderated by Stephen Smith, Boston Globe public health reporter.

Come join the conversation.

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The Massachusetts Medical Society, with some 18,300 physicians and student
members, is dedicated to educating and advocating for the patients and
physicians of Massachusetts. The Society publishes The New England Journal
of Medicine, one of the world¹s leading medical journals; the Journal Watch
family of professional newsletters covering 11 specialties; and AIDS
Clinical Care. The Society is also a leader in continuing medical education
for health care professionals throughout Massachusetts. Founded in 1781, MMS
is the oldest continuously operating medical society in the country. For
more information, visit http://www.massmed.org.

The Ford Hall Forum and Massachusetts Medical Society present this program
in collaboration with the Old South Meeting House, as part of their Partners
in Public Dialogue Series. Old South Meeting House is a non-profit museum
and historic site, located on the Freedom Trail, dedicated to sustaining the
building¹s tradition as a community-gathering place for the free exchange of
ideas and to provide a place where people can connect the issues of the past
with the issues of today. It receives support from the Massachusetts
Cultural Council, a state agency, the Institute of Museum and Library
Services, a federal agency, and other public and private sources. Visit
www.oldsouthmeetinghouse.org for more information.

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Additional Background information:
Paul D. Biddinger, MD, FACEP
Dr. Paul Biddinger is the Director of Operations as well as Director of
Prehospital Care and Disaster Medicine in the Massachusetts General Hospital
Department of Emergency Medicine in Boston.  He is also Associate Director
of the Harvard School of Public Health Center for Public Health Preparedness
and he holds academic appointments at Harvard Medical School and at the
Harvard School of Public Health. Additionally, Dr. Biddinger is the Medical
Director for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital EMS and the Assistant Medical
Director for Boston Medflight.  Dr. Biddinger has lectured locally,
regionally, and nationally on topics of preparedness and disaster medicine.
He has authored numerous articles and book chapters on multiple topics
related to emergency medical services and disaster medicine.  He completed
his undergraduate study in international relations at Princeton University,
attended medical school at Vanderbilt University, and completed residency
training in emergency medicine at Harvard.

Lisa Stone, MD
Lisa received her MD from the George Washington University School of
Medicine, and completed her Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine at
University Hospital in Boston. She received an MPH from the Harvard School
of Public Health in 2001. She served on her local Board of Health for eight
years, and began working for the Department of Public Health in 2004.  As
the Hospital Preparedness Coordinator for the Department of Public Heath,
Lisa works with the six regional hospital planning committees and their
coordinators to assist the hospitals in their preparedness efforts through
the HRSA cooperative agreement. She also sits on two Pandemic planning
committees and co-chairs the statewide Surge and MSAR advisory committees.

Stephen Smith (moderator) covers public health issues for The Boston Globe.

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