TUCSON, Ariz. – A simulated flu pandemic will challenge nearly 600 students from the University of Arizona Health Sciences, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University as they learn to collaborate across professional lines while tackling the logistical, social, psychological and ethical issues that may arise during an infectious disease outbreak in Arizona.
The event is part of “Pandemic: An Exercise in Disaster Preparedness,” a live interprofessional course conducted by the UA Health Sciences Center for Transformative Interprofessional Healthcare to prepare students in the health professions, law and journalism for team-based responses to public health emergencies.
By combining skills and knowledge from different disciplines, interprofessional education teaches students to work as teams to achieve the common goal of improved patient care and health outcomes. Team members learn each professionals’ roles and responsibilities and how to collaborate on a foundation of shared values and mutual respect.
The exercise will be held Friday, Oct. 25, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., in Tucson at the UA Health Sciences campus, Health Sciences Innovation Building, 1670 E. Drachman St., and in Phoenix at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, Health Sciences Education Building, 435 N. Fifth St. The locations will be Zoom-linked, and Room 567 in Tucson will serve as the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for both campuses.
Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, 17th Surgeon General of the United States and distinguished professor, UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, will be the keynote speaker and moderator. During the hotwash debriefing from 3:35 to 4:30 p.m., Dr. Carmona will answer students’ questions and discuss best practices.
More than 400 students in Tucson and more than 160 in Phoenix will work with faculty facilitators in teams representing eight Arizona communities (Bisbee, Flagstaff, Kingman, Tuba City, Tucson, Phoenix, Prescott and Yuma) and the state EOC. The teams will use each community’s actual demographics to deliberate a variety of disaster scenarios relating to a flu pandemic, including triaging — prioritizing — patients for treatment and allocating limited resources in the face of overwhelming need.
The exercise will address preparedness and response, the roles and responsibilities of different professions and agencies that respond to a pandemic, and the importance of coordination and teamwork in preventing and controlling the spread of disease.
Participating students will be from the UA Colleges of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix, Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy, Zuckerman College of Public Health, James E. Rogers College of Law and School of Journalism; the ASU T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics and School of Community Resources and Development, and NAU Occupational Therapy Doctorate program.
Fifty-six faculty facilitators — 35 in Tucson and 21 in Phoenix — will guide the students. Tucson facilitators will include representatives from the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy and Zuckerman College of Public Health; University of Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center; Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Pima County Health Department. Phoenix facilitators will include representatives from the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix, Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy and Zuckerman College of Public Health; NAU; ASU; Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix and Maricopa County Department of Public Health.
2:00-2:18 p.m. Welcome and Introductions, Instructions
2:23-3:32 p.m. Activities
3:35-4:30 p.m. Hotwash and Keynote with Dr. Carmona
(Prior to the exercise in Tucson, a flu vaccination clinic for UA Health Sciences students, faculty and staff will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. in the Health Sciences Innovation Building lobby.)
About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 900 faculty members and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram)