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Disaster Resilience: CTSI Hosts Citywide Conference

Sept. 4, 2013

If a disaster strikes southeastern Wisconsin, will local agencies be ready? Will community partners have working, collaborative, resilient plans to handle a large-scale emergency?

Those and other questions will be explored at the upcoming “Community Engagement in Research Conference: Advancing Communities’ Disaster Resilience.” The one-day conference will be held September 18 from 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee.

The conference is presented by the Medical College of Wisconsin’s (MCW) Community Engagement Key Function of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) of Southeast Wisconsin, in collaboration with MCW’s department of emergency medicine, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee FEMA Think Tank, and the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Health.

The goal is to expand dialogue on advancing community resilience in preparation for possible future disasters which have been common to the region—such as a tornado, flood or major industrial accident. Content is tailored for academic, clinical and community researchers interested in developing strategies for whole community emergency preparedness. Media are also welcome to attend.

“This type of planning can actually improve overall community health,” said Syed M. Ahmed, MD, MPH, DrPH, Senior Associate Dean for Community Engagement, professor of family and community medicine at MCW, and director of the CTSI Community Engagement Key Function. “By planning for crises collaboratively, community partners enhance their knowledge and awareness of each other, especially in diverse communities such as Milwaukee.”

Keynote speakers at the conference include:

Richard C. Hunt, MD

Dr. Hunt serves as Senior Medical Advisor for the National Healthcare Preparedness Programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He was previously with the Centers for Disease Control, where he oversaw development of national guidelines for field triage of injured patients and the Acute Injury Care Research Agenda.

Tracy O’Sullivan, PhD

Dr. O’Sullivan is an associate professor in the Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Her research program focuses on support mechanisms to promote health and resilience in conditions of high personal, occupational and community stress, with particular emphasis on building capacity for emergency management through community engagement, multi-disciplinary collaboration, and strengthening of critical social infrastructure.

Steve Fronk

Mr. Fronk was appointed by City of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2009 to serve as the Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for the City of Milwaukee and point of contact for the Milwaukee Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). As Director of Emergency Management for the City of Milwaukee, he is responsible for direct oversight of emergency management and homeland security issues involving the city.

CTSI is part of a national consortium of top medical research institutions. Working together, the CTSI institutions are committed to improve human health by streamlining science, transforming training environments and improving the conduct, quality and dissemination of clinical and translational research. Its eight partnering institutions are the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-Milwaukee, Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the VA Medical Center, and the BloodCenter of Wisconsin. The CTSI program is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

The conference is free. To register or learn more, visit

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