Pandemic flu exercise, Monday, Nov. 15, 8-11:30 a.m.

Monday, November 15, 2010 - 8:00am to 11:00am
EVENT:                      Coming to a Location Near You: Pandemic!
More than 400 students and more than 40 faculty from the UA Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy; UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health; UA James E. Rogers College of Law; and Arizona State University School of Social Work will participate in an interprofessional exercise in which they will grapple with tough ethical and logistical problems that Arizona could face in a pandemic flu epidemic. 
 
DATE/TIME:             MONDAY, NOV. 15, 8-11A.M.
 
LOCATIONS:            UA College of Medicine, Room 3230 (Emergency Operations Center)
                                    UA College of Medicine, MDL (Multi-Discipline Labs) Rooms:
                                    3113 (representing Douglas)
                                    3114 (representing Flagstaff)
                                    3115 (representing Ganado)
                                    3116 (representing Phoenix)
                                    UA College of Nursing, Room 117 (representing Tucson)
                                    UA College of Pharmacy, Room 325 (representing Prescott)
                                    Arizona Health Sciences Library, Room 4150 (representing Bisbee)
                                    1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson
 
                                    Yuma Regional Medical Center (representing Yuma)
                                    2400 South Avenue A, Yuma
 
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EVENT:                      News Conference
                                    With EOC experts and other faculty participants in the pandemic flu interprofessional exercise, including Drs. Richard Carmona, Andy Theodorou, Ronald Weinstein (director, Arizona Telemedicine Program) and others.
 
DATE/TIME:             MONDAY, NOV. 15, 11-11:30 A.M.
 
LOCATION:              UA College of Medicine, Room 3230
 
More than 400 students and more than 40 faculty from the University of Arizona Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy; UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health; UA James E. Rogers College of Law; and Arizona State University School of Social Work will participate in an interprofessional exercise on Monday, Nov. 15, 8 to 11 a.m., in which they will grapple with tough ethical and logistical problems that Arizona could face in a flu pandemic. The event will use technology and telemedicine to enable real-time electronic communication and simulate the experience of an emergency pandemic.
 
The purpose of the exercise is to help health sciences students gain an understanding of the threats and consequences of a pandemic flu outbreak, and to underscore the importance of collaboration across professional lines, says Hal Strich, MPH,associate director of the MD-MPH Dual Degree Program at the UA College of Medicine and one of the event organizers. “There’s no ‘right’ answer to some of these questions; we want students to see the complexity of these issues and the role and perspectives of other professions,” Strich says.
 
The exercise will begin with remarks – delivered via real-time streaming video to teams of students stationed in rooms throughout the Arizona Health Sciences Center campus in Tucson and at Yuma Regional Regional Medical Center in Yuma – by Andy Theodorou, MD, chief medical officer, University Medical Center/Diamond Children’s; UA professor of pediatrics; chief, pediatric critical care medicine and associate head, UA Department of Pediatrics; and Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, 17th Surgeon General of the United States; distinguished professor, UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health; and vice chairman, Canyon Ranch.
 
Dr. Theodorou will address the role of the emergency operations center (EOC), resource allocation and workforce needs in a public health emergency and the uses of new communication technologies. Dr. Carmona will discuss “All-Hazards Emergency Preparedness and Response,” the concept of disaster and the core infrastructure that would respond to a public health emergency.
 
The student teams will work in rooms representing eight Arizona communities: Bisbee, Douglas, Flagstaff, Ganado, Phoenix, Prescott, Tucson and Yuma. The students will discuss various disaster scenarios relating to a worldwide influenza epidemic striking Arizona – for example, how to distribute limited supplies of respirators with overwhelming need and the safety of health-care workers and their duty to treat when their own health is at risk.
 
Teams of students also will be paired with experts who will staff a live emergency operations center (EOC) located in UA College of Medicine Room 3230 (third floor teleconference room), including:
 
Ÿ         Incident Commander/National Stockpile Advisor: Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS
 
Ÿ         EOC Controller: Kathryn Knak, CHEP, CHSP, corporate emergency preparedness officer, University Medical Center
 
Ÿ         Director, Metropolitan Response System: Theodore Tong, PharmD, director, Arizona Poison Control System; associate dean, student affairs; professor, UA College of Pharmacy
 
Ÿ         Public Health Official: Michelle McDonald, MD, chief medical officer, Pima County Health Department
 
Ÿ         General Counsel: Christopher Robertson, JD, PhD, associate professor, UA James E. Rogers College of Law
 
The exercise will implement a new technology, “CoveritLive,” that allows bi-directional written communication between the EOC and student teams. Teams will view communications on their laptops and send questions to the EOC experts through their team “reporter” as they work through problems of ethics and public health.
 
Real-time streaming video also will be used for the first time to project a mock newscast and transmit verbal and visual communication from the EOC to the student teams.
 
The exercise will conclude with a debriefing session moderated by Dr. Carmona and featuring the EOC experts addressing many of the issues that come up.
 
Following the exercise, a news conference will be held from 11 to 11:30 a.m. in UA College of Medicine Room 3230 with EOC experts and other faculty participants – including Drs. Carmona, Theodorou and Ronald Weinstein (director, Arizona Telemedicine Program) – available to discuss the outcome and significance of the exercise.
 
The AHSC Division of Biomedical Communications will document the exercise for use in a national interprofessional conference to be held next year in Tucson.