Preparing for outbreak

October 20, 2014

Brad Cannell, PhD, MPH

As the world anxiously follows news from first responders, health care workers and the CDC in the wake of the Ebola outbreak in Dallas, students at UNT Health Science Center are learning valuable lessons to help prepare for their own future service in the field.

During a recent disaster preparedness tabletop drill, students from the UNTHSC School of Public Health (SPH) studied the film Contagion and worked in teams with North Texas agencies to explore issues and recommend solutions to save their community from the mock disaster.

The drill was part of an interprofessional education (IPE) effort to instill values based on teamwork, ethics, respect for all professions, collaboration and effective communication, adapted from a University of Texas School of Nursing exercise by Brad Cannell, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and the SPH IPE Committee.

Representatives from Tarrant County Public Health, the City of Fort Worth, MedStar emergency service, local hospitals and other agencies worked with students to share their knowledge and personal experiences.

The day’s discussions focused on how disasters can be both immediate and far-reaching, and that disaster situations can involve important economic, cultural, social, religious and cost factors.

“Overall, it was a big win for our students and helped build stronger collaboration between UNTHSC and the community,” said Dennis Thombs, PhD, Chair of Behavioral and Community Health, and one of the event leaders.

Brad_Cannell“It was interesting to see how students worked through the scenarios and how they gained new perspectives from the community participants,” he said.

In one case, Dr. Thombs said students were asked who would need vaccinations first in a disease outbreak, and they recommended shots for the elderly and children – while in fact, as Fort Worth’s city emergency manager explained, the groups that would actually need these precautions first are the emergency responders like police, firefighters, health care workers and those whose jobs involve taking care of others.

“The mock drill was an excellent learning experience for our students, and so necessary, because they will be the ones taking on important public and community health roles in the future,” he said.

Rita Fc
Women’s networking group started by TCOM leader earns national award

By Steven Bartolotta In 2007, TCOM’s Dr. Rita Patterson and Dr. Jennifer Wayne, a professor at Virginia Tech, recognized the need for women in the field of bioengineering to meet together, network, mentor and increase the representation of women in the field. Thus the ASME Bioengineering...Read more

Jun 23, 2021

Dr. Sid O'Bryant
Early findings of innovative study of Alzheimer’s among diverse populations available to dementia researchers

  A growing trove of data to help scientists understand the biology of Alzheimer’s disease among diverse populations within the context of sociocultural, behavioral and environmental factors is now available through the Institute for Translational Research at The University of North Te...Read more

Jun 22, 2021

Vic Holmes, Mpas, Edd, Pa C Assistant Professor
HSC Pride: Increased pronoun use is an emerging trend among health professionals

By Diane Smith-Pinckney The embroidery on Vic Holmes’ black scrubs identify him as a physician assistant and an ally to LGBTQ+ patients. The words, stitched under a rainbow-colored Caduceus pin and near his heart, read: “Vic Holmes, PA-C, He/Him/His, Family Medicine.” Pronouns are...Read more

Jun 21, 2021

Hsc Katie Pelch
Public health scientist lends expertise to national database addressing safer use of chemicals in our environment

By Sally Crocker Katie Pelch, PhD, wants you to know what’s in our environment and how the chemicals we’re exposed to every day may affect our health. Dr. Pelch is a part-time Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, in the HSC School of Public Health (SPH), where...Read more

Jun 21, 2021