About the Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council

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Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is an organization of more than 67,000 pediatricians committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. The AAP Board of Directors appointed the AAP Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council (DPAC) in 2007.

AAP DPAC Members (2019 - Present)

Steven E. Krug, MD, FAAP, Chairperson
Sarita Chung, MD, FAAP, MAJ
Daniel B. Fagbuyi, MD, FAAP
Scott Needle, MD, FAAP
David J. Schonfeld, MD, FAAP

Federal Liaisons

John Alexander, MD, FAAP (US Food and Drug Administration)
Kevin Chatham-Stephens, MD, MPH, FAAP (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Daniel Dodgen, PhD (HHS, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response)
Shana Godfred-Cato, DO, FAAP (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Sangeeta Kaushik, MD, MPH (US Department of Homeland Security)
Georgina Peacock, MD, MPH, FAAP (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Erica Radden, MD, MPH, FAAFP (US Food and Drug Administration)
Robert Tamburro, MD, MSc (National Institute for Child Health and Human Development)

AAP Liaisons

Carl Baum, MD, MsC, FAAP, FACMT (AAP Council on Environmental Health)
Deanna Dahl-Grove, MD, FAAP (AAP Section on Emergency Medicine)
Natasha Gill, MD, FAAP (AAP Section on Early Career Physicians)
David Klima, MD, FAAP (AAP Section on Surgery)
Elizabeth Mack, MD, FAAP (AAP Section on Critical Care)

History of Disaster Preparedness at the AAP

The AAP formed a Work Group on Disasters in 1993 to develop resources on the psychosocial needs of child disaster victims that could be sent to pediatricians if there was a disaster in their community. In 2001, the AAP established a Task Force on Terrorism to manage follow-up efforts regarding the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and issues related to anthrax. The AAP then established a Disaster Preparedness Team that focused on Hurricane Katrina follow-up and clarified the AAP role in reunification, rescue, and recovery.

In 2006, the AAP Board of Directors identified disaster preparedness as 1 of 7 priority issues requiring special attention and resources. The AAP appointed the DPAC in May 2007 to establish a focused effort within the AAP to 1) Develop and implement a 3-5 year AAP Strategic Plan for Disaster Preparedness; 2) Oversee/support AAP disaster preparedness initiatives while working collaboratively with AAP committees, sections, and councils and key partner organizations; and 3) Strengthen AAP advocacy and policy efforts, which include responding to inquiries as appropriate, identifying opportunities for advocacy such as providing Congressional testimony and offering comments on federal regulations, and mobilizing a Contact Network. In 2010, the AAP conducted an opinion poll on children and disasters.

Key issues the AAP is addressing include:

  • Ensuring that children's issues are addressed as early as possible in the development of disaster preparedness programs and activities.
  • Involving pediatric experts in all levels of disaster planning and response (medical home to national levels).
  • Supporting AAP Chapters and members to integrate pediatric issues into state plans.

The DPAC members recognize that "disaster medicine" is a topic that crosses many other AAP groups. Currently, more than 700 AAP members with an interest, involvement, and/or expertise in disaster preparedness have been identified. These members receive the AAP Children & Disasters newsletter, free disaster-related print materials, and other disaster-related communication through an electronic mailing list. If you would like to be included on this list, e-mail here. The AAP Children and Disasters Web site represents one step to ensure that all pediatricians and other health professionals, parents, caregivers and teachers, policymakers, and communities have the information they need when they need it.

For more information about the DPAC and other AAP disaster-related initiatives, e-mail here.

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