To ensure pediatric health issues are addressed rather than inadvertently overlooked in federal disaster planning, the National Association of Children's Hospitals (NACH) has formed a National Advisory Panel on Terrorism and Children's Hospitals. The nine-person panel was announced last week at a joint congressional briefing on children and terrorism by NACH, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses.
The expert panel will serve in an advisory capacity to policy makers, the media and children's hospitals on key issues affecting children's health and well-being in the event of national disasters or emergencies such as terrorist attacks. As frontline providers of emergency and critical care for children in metropolitan areas across the country, children's hospitals have a great deal at stake in the success or failure of national, state and local disaster preparedness plans.
"The collective experience and expertise of this panel regarding disaster preparedness is both broad and deep," said Lawrence A. McAndrews, president and CEO of NACH "It ranges from such proactive initiatives as the design of sophisticated early warning surveillance systems to such reactive efforts as counseling parents and families on the psycho-social impact of disaster and providing emergency medical response to disaster sites like the World Trade Center."
The NACH sponsored panel consists of executive and medical leadership from children's hospitals, including CEOs, medical leaders, pediatric experts in bioterrorism and infectious disease, emergency medicine specialists and poison control center experts. Panel members include:
- Steven Altschuler, M.D., president and CEO, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA - Nancy Blake, R.N., director, Critical Care Services, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
- Ralph D. Feigin, M.D., president and CEO, Baylor College of Medicine and physician-in-chief, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX
- Fred Henretig, M.D., medical director, Poison Control Center, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
- Peter R. Holbrook, M.D., chief medical officer, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
- Irwin Redlener, M.D., president, Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Bronx, NY
- Michael W. Shannon, M.D., M.P.H., associate chief, Division of Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA
- Cynthia Sparer, executive director, Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, New York, NY
- Edwin K. Zechman, Jr., president and CEO, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC