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Weathering the Public Health Storm

What are the public health lessons learned in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation on New York City? What went wrong? What went right?

In an opinion piece published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Einstein and Montefiore’s Tia Powell, M.D., discusses the process that led three New York City hospitals to reach different decisions about when to evacuate hundreds of patients. All three of the hospitals – NYU Langone Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital Center, and Manhattan VA Medical Center – remain closed to inpatients as of today.

Writing with Dan Hanfling, M.D., of Inova Health System and the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University, and Lawrence O. Gostin, J.D., of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center, Dr. Powell and her collaborators suggest that while some hospitals improved disaster response in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, additional preparation and more collaboration among multiple institutions are needed to improve hospital responses.

Read the complete JAMA piece here.

NOTE: Tia Powell, M.D. is director, Montefiore Einstein Center for Bioethics and Einstein Cardozo Master of Science in Bioethics professor, Clinical Epidemiology, Clinical Psychiatry Albert Einstein College of Medicine

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