Center for Global Health panel to discuss 9/11

Is the United States better prepared today to respond to terrorism, bioterrorism pandemics and natural disasters than it was on Sept. 11, 2001?

A panel of area emergency response experts will discuss this question at a Public Health Grand Rounds event presented by the Master of Public Health Program of the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine Center for Global Health. The event, “9/11: Eleven Years After,” will be 8:30–9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 11, at the Herman N. Menapace Center for Health Education at Greene Memorial Hospital in Xenia.

Free and open to the public, the event is part of the School of Medicine’s Public Health Grand Rounds, which seeks to inform health professionals about public health topics related to prevention and workforce development.

Christopher Eddy, M.P.H., REHS, RS, placement and workforce development director in the Master of Public Health Program, will facilitate the event.

“Every Sept. 11, we must reconsider the terrorist events of 9/11. We must remember our mistakes, our heroism and our ability to rebuild,” said Eddy, who is a 25-year local public health veteran and the former director of environmental health at Hamilton County Public Health, where he led the development of a regional, all-hazards, post-9/11 planning and response team. “But most importantly, we must promise that such a tragedy will never occur again.”

Throughout the United States, emergency response funds have dwindled, some grant-supported positions have been cut and equipment, expensive to maintain and calibrate, is collecting dust on shelves.

“As budgets and positions continue to be threatened, reports issued by the nonprofit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the General Accounting Office have recently cautioned that our level of preparedness may be reversing,” Eddy said.

The panel includes David Gerstner, coordinator of the Dayton/West Central Ohio Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) of the City of Dayton Fire Department; Mark McDonnell, M.S., health commissioner of the Greene County Combined Health District; and Rick Murray, operations manager of the Emergency Management Association of Ohio, Warren County.

The panelists are experts in disaster planning and emergency response. They also serve as adjunct professors, advisors and site preceptors for the WSU Master of Public Health Program.

Public Health Grand Rounds began in July 2011. Past topics addressed breast-feeding in emergencies, issues related to prescription drug abuse and active aging. Upcoming topics include health disparities and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

“The Master of Public Health Program has been holding grand rounds for the purpose of educating the public health workforce, our alumni and other community partners,” said Bill Spears, associate professor of Community Health and Pediatrics at Wright State. “We are working on plans to work with health departments in surrounding counties to present programs on topics that will fill the needs of their employees and local community-based organizations.”

For more information about the Sept. 11 grand rounds event, contact Pam Mondini at or (937) 258-5555.

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