Disaster preparedness plans are under consideration; this topic is a priority of the Board of the Delaware Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
The Maryland Chapter has recently updated its disaster plan based on input received at the March 2016 ALF. This plan allows for expedited communication between chapter leaders and key staff in case of a state wide or local emergency. With the unrest that occurred in 2015 in Baltimore City, it became crucial to assure that all key leaders would be on board with a revised plan.
The Pennsylvania AAP Chapter is involved in several projects designed to improve preparedness and response for its members. The chapter held Immunization Skills Workshops for
State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Pennsylvania
to train physicians, nurses, and medical assistants. The training provided education on routine care but was also applicable to emergency situations. Topics included correct vaccine administration; storage and handling concerns in sites unaccustomed to storing medications; intranasal vaccine administration; the vaccine safety system and how to address concerns that might arise during an emergency; and the importance of heath care workers staying immunized to be as healthy as possible for their patients.
The chapter also received support through a grant from the
Pennsylvania Department of Health
, and with the consultation of Scott Needle, MD, FAAP, member,
AAP Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council
, created a strategic plan for integrating community pediatricians into preparedness efforts. A separate grant with
HIT Regional Extension Centers
has resulted in a robust communications database of members and nonmembers, organized by pediatric practice to effectively disseminate information during disasters. The Pennsylvania Chapter plans to share through webinars or other online resources what was learned in these efforts to educate members and other AAP Chapters. A Chapter Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council is anticipated, as well.
is in the process of conducting 3 Emergency Preparedness webinar/teleconferences, that are available free of charge. Descriptions and links to the webinars/teleconferences are listed below.
“Emergency Preparedness for Physicians
” preparing yourself and your practice to survive and recover from emergencies and disasters, was hosted by Scott Needle, MD, FAAP. At the conclusion of the activity, participants should be able to: describe physician and pediatric practice roles in disaster preparedness, recovery and response, identify steps to facilitate continuity of operations following a disaster, identify resources and best practices for personal and office preparedness, and consider ways to be involved in community preparedness.
“Supporting Children in the Aftermath of a Crisis”, was hosted by David J Schonfeld, MD, FAAP. At the conclusion of the activity, participants should be able to: recognize the importance of psychological first aid and basic supportive services, list the common symptoms of adjustment reactions to crisis, and describe the risk factors for difficulty with adjustment. A link to the webinar will be available soon.
“Emergency Preparedness and Children with Special Health Care Needs”, will be hosted by Renee Turchi, MD, MPH, FAAP and Wendy Ross, MD, FAAP. At the conclusion of the activity, participants should be able to: describe the unique challenges for emergency preparedness for families and health care providers in caring for children and youth with special health care needs, prepare families with children and youth with special health care needs for emergencies and disasters, and identify emergency preparedness, recovery, and response resources for children and youth with functional needs. This webinar is scheduled for May 21, 2013.
Specific disaster preparedness initiatives are still under consideration.