Disaster Readiness Committee

 

Chair:

Todd Holzman, MD

 

 

 

 

Co-chair:

Margaret Tompsett, MD

 

 

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Committee Links:

Member Communications

Committee Documents, Minutes and Resources

Committee Circle (Announcements & Discussions for all MPS members)

Committee Forums (originated by Committee Chair)

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Committee Created Survey Here

 

2017 Disaster Committee Report 

Major hurricanes caused devastating losses in Texas, Florida, the U.S, Virgin Islands, and other areas of the Caribbean during the months of August and September 2017. More globally, there was a major earthquake in Mexico. These unexpected and catastrophic crises around the world emphasize the importance of our being ready as psychiatrists to help address the sequelae of disasters when they occur. Earlier this year, the Disaster Committee conducted a Red Cross approved training for members to teach preparedness and treatment. Dr. Margaret Tompsett, co-chair of the MPS Disaster Committee along with Drs. Fred Stoddard and Todd Holzman, reported on their work this year. At the time of this meeting in September Dr. Holzman was serving in Lesothe, South Africa to initiate a Mental Health program with the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the established programs with Partners In Health Programs in Early Childhood Development, Multi-Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Dr. Fred Stoddard has co-authored several psychiatric textbooks on disaster recovery and continues to be a resource for the American Psychiatric Association District Branches 2,3 Dr. Tompsett will be deploying to Texas to assist with recovery efforts related to Hurricane Harvey. Recent communications to district branch presidents from the American Psychiatric Association noted that the Red Cross is actively recruiting volunteer psychiatrists to work in Texas. The office of the Governor of Texas will temporarily suspend state statues and rules to allow health physicians currently employed by a hospital and licensed and in good standing in another state to practice in Texas in order to assist in the response operations. The American Psychiatric Association Foundation has created a fund to provide support to those impacted by the Hurricanes. Please visit the Foundation’s Disaster relief page at americanpsychiatricfoundation.org for more information on how you may help.

Disaster Readiness (cont. by Todd Holzman, MD, Margaret Tompsett, MD)

Fred Stoddard, Todd Holzman and Margaret Tompsett continued doing a one-hour presentation at several of the medical schools in the state including Tufts, BU and U-MASS. This led up to a Disaster Preparedness Course on April 8th which was attended by about 60 mental health professionals. The course was well received with high ratings for the speakers. Six people showed interest in being on an MPS Disaster Preparedness Committee and we met at Fred Stoddard’s home in May. All members were encouraged to join the Red Cross to get basic training and experience in disaster work.

During this academic year we have already given one talk at the VA in Brockton and have another one scheduled for Tufts. The committee will meet in October and will determine at that time whether to organize another disaster course.

We have sent out material to our members about how to help with survivors of Hurricane Harvey. I plan to deploy with the Red Cross as soon as I return from England on October 3rd.


 

COMMITTEE CHARGE:

Disaster Readiness Committee

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From THE CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF THE MASSACHUSETTS PSYCHIATRIC SOCIETY 

Article XVI –Committees

There shall be the following standing Committees of the MPS: Executive, Nominating, Membership, Constitution and Bylaws, Fellowship, Ethics and Continuing Medical Education.

The President may establish or eliminate other committees or other organizational entities as may be necessary to implement the objectives of the MPS.

All Chairs of MPS committees or other entities are to be appointed yearly by the President [except where otherwise specified in the Constitution and Bylaws and shall be limited to three consecutive terms] unless this term limit is overridden by a two-thirds vote of the MPS Executive Committee.

No member of the MPS or organizational unit thereof shall speak in the name of, or encumber the funds of, the MPS unless such power is specifically granted by the MPS President or by a formal action of the Council of the MPS.

Article XVII –Attendance

Attendance at meetings of the Council, committees or other organizational entities: shall be open to all members of the MPS except for the meetings of the Ethics Committee. All organizational entities of the MPS may go into Executive Session.