Gentry travels to Turkey to instruct about hospitals' preparedness for chemical warfare
November 2, 2018
Bill Gentry, MPA, assistant professor of health policy and management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, will share his expertise on disaster preparedness during the “HOSPREP 2018” workshop at the University of Health Sciences, in Ankara, Turkey, on Nov. 5-8.
Gentry, director of the Gillings School’s Community Preparedness and Disaster Management (CPDM) Program, has decades of leadership experience in preparing and managing natural and human-caused disasters. Prior to joining the Gillings School in 2005, he worked for nearly 15 years with the N.C. Division of Emergency Management.
Representatives from 19 countries participating at the conference will learn how to write hospital plans to receive chemically contaminated patients.
Gentry’s former CPDM student, alumnus Guy Valente, issued the invitation to present at the event. A programme officer for the Assistance and Protection Branch in The Hague’s International Cooperation and Assistance Division, Valente serves as project officer for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
The Hague, a city on the Netherlands coast, is the seat of the Dutch parliament and also is home to the U.N.’s International Court of Justice, headquartered in the Peace Palace, and the International Criminal Court.
“Unfortunately, chemical weapons still exist and are being utilized in some conflicts,” Gentry said. “That means there is a need to train major hospitals and health ministries to write comprehensive hospital plans that include a robust chemical weapons response annex. In this way, hospitals can provide consistent care for their patients while protecting hospital staff.”
Also presenting with Gentry at the conference are Paul Biddinger, MD, chief of the division of emergency preparedness, and David Mather, AS, hazardous materials instructional lead, both from the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Disaster Medicine.
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