Title

Academic response to storm-related natural disasters—lessons learned

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-17-2018

Abstract

On 30 October 2017, selected faculty and administrators from Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) grantee institutions gathered to share first-hand accounts of the devastating impact of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, which had interrupted academic activities, including research, education, and training in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas. The presenters reviewed emergency response measures taken by their institutions to maintain community health care access and delivery, the storm-related impact on clinical and research infrastructure, and strategies to retain locally grown clinical expertise and translational science research talent in the aftermath of natural disasters. A longer-term perspective was provided through a comparative review of lessons learned by one New Orleans-based institution (now more than a decade post-storm) in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Caring for the internal and external communities associated with each institution and addressing the health disparities exacerbated by storm-related events is one key strategy that will pay long-term dividends in the survival of the academic institutions and the communities they serve.

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