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<p>The Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI and its Executive Education Program will present a conference on how emergency medicine would respond to a very serious disaster with mass casualties.</p>

IUPUI to host conference on disaster medicine and mass casualties

The conference, the second in a series of six sessions on homeland security and emergency management being sponsored by the school and program, will take place Thursday, Oct. 16, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the University Place Conference Center on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

“If disaster struck Indianapolis, similar to the 9/11 attack on New York and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, emergency medicine and hospitals would be tested as never before,” said Craig E. Hartzer, clinical professor and director of the Executive Education Program at IUPUI. “They would be stretched to their limits treating the injured, and dying and accounting for the dead.”

This conference points to the seminal importance in American life of the issue of an emergency “surge” and the response to such a surge. Recent reports from the Government Accountability Office and broadcast journalism (“ABC Evening News”) stress that America and its communities are ill prepared to respond effectively to a surge of mass casualties.

In Indianapolis, America’s 12th largest city, the best practices and lessons learned for dealing with a surge of mass casualties will be discussed in the daylong symposium. Dr. Judy Monroe, the Indiana state health commissioner, will present the keynote address on “Preparedness Lessons from Israel,” discussing how Israelis cope with disasters and mass casualties.

Three panels will take place on the following topics:

  • Emergency Medicine and Mass Casualties: Accepting Surge. Panelists will include Dr. Dan Hanfling of Inova Health Systems, professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University; Dr. Charles Miramonti, assistant professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Indiana University, and Metropolitan Medical Response System program manager; Dr. Michael Olinger, professor of clinical emergency medicine, Indiana University, and medical director, Indy Racing League; and Dr. Charles Shufflebarger, director of the Emergency Medicine & Trauma Center, Methodist Clarian Health, and professor, Indiana University School of Medicine.
  • Hospital Administration and Mass Casualties: Managing Surge. Panelists will include James Bickel, chief executive officer, Columbus Regional Hospital; Charles Ford, associate vice president, emergency preparedness, Wishard Health Services; Thomas Huser, coordinator of safety and security, Clarian Health, Methodist; Pitt Thompson III, vice president operations, Clarian Health, Methodist.
  • Emergency Medicine and Surge: Staffing for Surge. Panelists will include Dr. Crystal Jones, medical director, acute diseases, Marion County Health Department; Dr. Edward Bartkus, assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine and EMS Education, Indiana University School of Medicine; Dr. James Rinkle, emergency medical services fellow, Indiana University School of Medicine; and Dr. Steven Wintermeyer, associate professor of clinical medicine, Occupational Health, Indiana University Medical Group.