Friday, April 19, 2013
PREPARING FOR DIRTY BOMBS, NUCLEAR DISASTERS, AND OTHER RADIATION EMERGENCIES
Steven M. Becker, Ph.D.
Dr. Becker is a leading international expert on the public health, risk communication, and preparedness and response issues associated with large-scale emergencies and disasters. He has two decades of experience dealing with environmental contamination incidents, industrial accidents, mass casualty situations, terrorism, and new and emerging health threats. This includes both published scholarly research and extensive fieldwork at disaster sites around the world. His most recent on-the-ground experience was as a member of the special three-person Radiological Emergency Assistance Team that was invited to Japan in response to the March 2011 earthquake-tsunami disaster and the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. Dr. Becker served as a principal investigator in the Pre-Event Message Development Project, a groundbreaking study aimed at improving emergency messages for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, he has served as principal investigator for amulti-year Department of Homeland Security funded study of the communication and information challenges associated with radiological threats and incidents. Dr. Becker is Professor of Community and Environmental Health, College of Health Sciences, at Old Dominion University. In 2005, Dr. Becker was elected by his scientific peers to the Congressionally-chartered National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.
Gerald Benjamin, Ph.D.
Dr. Benjamin was appointed as Associate Vice President for Regional Engagement and Director of the Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO) at SUNY New Paltz in 2008. CRREO is the principal locus of the college's efforts to raise its level of engagement within communities, governments, not-for-profits and businesses across the Hudson Valley. Dr. Benjamin, who joined the New Paltz faculty as an Assistant Professor of Political Science in 1968, achieved the University's highest rank in 2002 when he was appointed Distinguished Professor by the SUNY Board of Trustees. He served as Chair of the Department of Political Science, Presiding Officer of the faculty and (for twelve years beginning in 1996) Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Formerly Director of the Center for the New York State and Local Government Studies at SUNY's Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, between May of 1993 and March of 1995 Dr. Benjamin served as Research Director of the Temporary State Commission on Constitutional Revision appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo. Between 2004 and 2006, by unanimous bipartisan action of the county legislature, Benjamin was appointed to chair the Ulster County Charter Commission. Between 1981 and 1993 Dr. Benjamin was an elected member of the Ulster County legislature. He served in legislative leadership as both Majority Leader (1985-91) and Chairman (1991-93). Dr. Benjamin served in the United States Army between 1970 and 1972, rising to the rank of Captain in the Medical Service Corps. He has been a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Tokyo and the Japanese Foreign Ministry School, a Serbelloni Fellow in Residence at the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio, Italy and a Visiting Professor at Meiji University in Tokyo Japan.
Greg Brunelle, M.S.
Mr. Brunelle was promoted to Director of the New York State Office of Emergency Management in December 2012. He joined the New York State Office of Emergency Management in May of 2007 as Deputy Director for Preparedness, overseeing the office's Training & Exercise, Planning, and GIS Sections. In 2010, he was promoted to Deputy Director of OEM where he serves as the executive officer for the Director, assisting with the development of the agency's strategic and operational plans and providing staff oversight and guidance in all program areas. Additionally, he serves as the Executive lead for all operational responses and as Deputy State Coordinating Officer for disasters declared under the federal Stafford Act. Prior to joining NYS OEM, Mr. Brunelle served with the Jefferson County (NY) Office of Fire & Emergency Management as Deputy Director from 2001-2005 and Director from 2005-2007. He spent 12 years as a volunteer firefighter and advanced EMT as well as serving on the Executive Board of the Northern New York Chapter of the American Red Cross. He is an adjunct professor at Colorado Technical University, where he co-teaches doctoral courses on Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and has written several course curricula for the college's Homeland Security and Emergency Management baccalaureate program. He is a member of the Metropolitan College of New York's Master's Program in Emergency Management Advisory Board and serves on the Advisory Board of the SUNY New Paltz Institute for Disaster Mental Health. Mr. Brunelle holds a B.A. in History and Sociology, a Master's in Organizational Psychology, a Certificate of Study in the Health Systems Administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology,and a Master's Degree in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
Cynthia A. Costello, M.S., M.P.H., C.H.P.
Ms. Costello is a Certified Health Physicist with a BA in Secondary Education/Biology from the College of St. Rose, an MS in Biology from College of St. Rose, and an MPH with a concentration in Environmental Health and Toxicology from the University at Albany. Ms. Costello has been with the NYS Department of Health for nearly 25 years, 21 of these years with the Bureau of Environmental Radiation Protection (BERP). While working for the department, Ms. Costello has been involved in the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Public Information Program, Radioactive Materials Licensing and Inspection, Radon Outreach and Education, Environmental Monitoring and Emergency Response. Most recently, she was appointed to the position of Chief of the department's Radiological Emergency Response and Environmental Radiation/Radon Sections.
Jerome M. Hauer, Ph.D:
Dr. Haueris one of the nation's true innovators in public safety, emergency management, medical and public health planning and response to emergencies disasters and terrorism. In November 2011 he was appointed by New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to serve as Commissioner of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. As Commissioner, Dr. Hauer oversees The State Office of Emergency Management, The Office of Fire Prevention and Control, The Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications, The Office of Cyber Security and serves as the Director of the Office of Counterterrorism. Dr. Hauer was the first Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness in 2002. During his tenure, Hauer was responsible for coordinating the country's medical and public health preparedness and response to emergencies, including acts of biological, chemical, and nuclear terrorism. Dr. Hauer also served as senior advisor to the Secretary for National Security and Emergency Management during the events of September 11, 2001, and the nation's anthrax crisis. Dr. Hauer has served on the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine's Committee to Evaluate R&D Needs for Improved Civilian Medical Response to Chemical or Biological Terrorism Incidents. He has served as an advisor to the U.S. Capitol Police and the U.S. Marine Corps' Chemical-Biological Incident Response Force (C-BIRF).
Steven Moskowitz, L.M.S.W.
Mr. Moskowtz is the Director of Disaster Preparedness and Response for the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH). His career has included stints in clinical services to youth and families, not-for-profit agency administration, family mediation and most recently disaster mental health. As one result of this non-traditional path, he has a deep appreciation for the challenges of making human services work as effectively in the field as claimed in the grant application. Working now within a governmental environment, he continues to make every effort to build programs that meet the needs of impacted populations within the contextual boundaries of real-life administrative, organizational, and budgetary realities. In addition to his role with OMH, Mr. Moskowitz has been active in assisting in the creation of a national peer group of disaster mental health responders and now serves as the Co-chair of the Multi-state Disaster Behavioral Health Consortium.
Diane Ryan, L.C.S.W.
Ms. Ryan is the Regional Director of Disaster Mental Health and Partner Services, New York State Disaster Mental Health Advisor, American Red Cross in Greater New York Emergency Services. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in trauma, critical incident response, and disaster mental health since 1997. She has served at local and national disasters including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, mass casualty transportation incidents, and the World Trade Center attacks. Ms. Ryan led the development of the mental health/spiritual care response protocol for the 2009 New York City Family Assistance Center plan. She provided posttraumatic stress protocols to 9/11 responders for several years after the World Trade Center disaster and was part of a Red Cross team that created and facilitated a support program for Israeli Red Cross responders in Jerusalem in 2005. Ms. Ryan has presented on disaster, trauma, and critical incident response nationally and internationally, and has published on the topics of disaster mental health response, roles in respite centers for emergency service workers, disaster staff support, and collaboration with spiritual care providers.
Adela Salame-Alfie, Ph.D.
Dr. Salame-Alfie is the Acting Director of the Division of Environmental Health Investigation in the New York State Department of Health (DOH). Prior to that appointment she was the Director of the Bureau of Environmental Radiation Protection. Dr. Salame-Alfie has over 25 years of experience in the area of radiological emergency response. She was the lead DOH planner for the EMPIRE 09 National Level 2 Radiological Exercise that took place in May-June 2009 in Albany, New York. This national level exercise simulated the response to a radiological dispersal device (dirty bomb) in an urban environment. Dr. Salame-Alfie is the Past-Chair of the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD) and a co-chair of the National Alliance for Radiation Readiness (NARR). She has chaired and/or participated in several national committees working on radiological emergency response issues, and has co-authored several publications in the subject. She received her MS and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.
Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D.
Dr. Sederer is Medical Director of the New York State Office of Mental Health. As New York's "chief psychiatrist," he provides medical leadership for a $3.6 billion per year mental health system which annually serves near to 700,000 people and includes 23 hospitals, 90 clinics, two research institutes, and community services throughout a state of ~20 million people. Dr. Sederer is an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia/Mailman School of Public Health. Previously, Dr. Sederer served as the Executive Deputy Commissioner for Mental Hygiene Services in NYC, the City's "chief psychiatrist." He also has been Medical Director and Executive Vice President of McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, a Harvard teaching hospital, and Director of the Division of Clinical Services for the American Psychiatric Association. In 2009, Dr. Sederer was recognized as the Psychiatric Administrator of the Year by the American Psychiatric Association and awarded a Scholar in Residence grant by the Rockefeller Foundation. He has received an Exemplary Psychiatrist award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dr. Sederer has published seven books and 350 articles and reports in professional and lay publications. His lay writings appear regularly in The Atlantic.com and he has published in the New York Times/International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal.com, Commonwealth Magazine and The Boston Business Journal. He is Medical Editor for Mental Health for the Huffington Post (now the AOL/Huffington Post Media Group), where over 150 of his posts and videos have appeared over the past three years.
Kathleen Tillman, Ph.D.
Dr. Tillman is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Counseling at the State University of New York at New Paltz where she teaches the Psychology of Childhood Trauma course. She also teaches in the Masters in Mental Health and School Counseling programs. Dr. Tillman has experience supporting children after a variety of catastrophic events. She has facilitated grief support groups through the schools; counseled bereaved youth through community agencies; provided consultation to surviving parents; and worked directly with bereaved children and adolescents following the attacks of September 11, 2001. In addition to her clinical experiences, she has provided training to hospice workers and conducted numerous workshops addressing childhood trauma and crises, including professional presentations at the national level. She has worked to support high school students after the suicide of a student, co-authored a curriculum for the New York State that trained state employees to work with children after a disaster; co-authored a curriculum for the United Nations on helping children after a disaster, and recently published an article entitled "Kids Supporting Kids: Implementing Grief and Loss Groups in the Schools" in the ASCA School Counselor and published a book entitled "Group Counseling with Elementary Students."
Mary Tramontin, Psy.D.
Dr. Tramontin currently serves as a clinical psychologist for the Department of Defense. In that capacity, she provides consultation on issues related to pre-employment personnel selection, psychological screening for high-risk assignments, workforce wellness, and employee behaviors of concern. Her current work is informed by her prior service as lead psychologist at the Traumatic Stress Studies Program/PTSD Clinic at the James J. Peters Veterans Administration Medical Center in New York City. In this role, she developed programs to address the specific needs of Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans and offered supervision, training and treatment in state of the art post-traumatic stress disorder therapies. Dr. Tramontin served on the Disaster Mental Health Leadership Committee of the Greater New York Chapter of the American Red Cross for over a decade and a half. She was instrumental in organizing New York City's Red Cross mental health response to disasters, including that of the World Trade Center Attack. Because of her contribution to the 9/11 recovery efforts, Dr. Tramontin was the only mental health professional selected to be part of the "last load" closing ceremony at the WTC site in June of 2002. Additionally, Dr. Tramontin is an American Red Cross Services to Armed Forces (SAF) volunteer and helped to develop the curriculum for SAF's nationally disseminated Reconnection Workshop Series. In addition to her expertise in the management of traumatic stress, Dr. Tramontin is also a forensic psychologist and has worked for the New York City Police Department, the Department of Justice-Federal Bureau of Prisons and the United States Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center. She is the co-author of Disaster Mental Health: Theory and Practice, 2007, Thomson Books/Cole Publishers.
Karla Vermeulen, Ph.D.
Dr. Vermeulen is the Deputy Director for the Institute for Disaster Mental Health and an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department of SUNY New Paltz, where she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in disaster mental health. She holds a Certificate in Mental Health in Complex Emergencies from the Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation, and is a master trainer in disaster mental health for the New York State Office of Mental Health and Department of Health. She has coordinated the development and production of IDMH training curricula for the state agencies, the Red Cross Greater New York Chapter, the United Nations, and other organizations.