On June 13, 2014 Alliance Institute participated in the Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events, Disaster Research Response Workshop. The event, held in Bethesda, MD, and sponsored by the Institute of Medicine's Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events, the National Institute on Environmental Health Services, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bought together Federal Agencies and others working to improve preparation and response research for American disasters.
Alliance Institute Executive Director Stephen Bradberry participated on the Partnering With the Community to Enable Access and Baseline Data panel along with David Lakey, Commissioner, Texas Department of State Health Services; Craig Slatin, Principal Investigator and Director of The New England Consortium; and Anthony Speier, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.
Specifically, Bradberry spoke to the need for government agencies to work to establish trust in communities prior to, and to address immediate needs following, a disaster if they want participation from community following a disaster. As an example, Bradberry referenced the National Institute of Environmental Health’s (NIEH) Gulf Study, a long-term (10 year) study on the health effects of exposure to oil and dispersants following the 2010 BP oil disaster.
The study is currently about 20,000 participants short of its goal. Alliance Institute noted that in addition to the general distrust of government, BP being put in charge of the clean-up and the media, while the government seemed to take a back seat, only magnified the distrust that needed to be addressed in order to achieve success.
Representatives from NIEH and others have since approached Alliance Institute to continue the conversation towards improving relations for better disaster preparation and response research.