Media Advisory: Hurricane Harvey Experts From Johns Hopkins University

Article ID: 680180

Released: 28-Aug-2017 3:20 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: Johns Hopkins University

THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
3910 Keswick Rd., Suite N-2600
Baltimore, MD 21211
Phone:  443-997-9009 / Fax: 443-997-1006

August 28, 2017
CONTACT: Media representatives listed below
General contact: Dennis O’Shea
Office: 443-997-9912 / Cell: 410-499-7460
dro@jhu.edu / @JHUmediareps

Note: This list will be updated online here. Information on broadcast-quality interviews with Johns Hopkins experts on Vyvx or ISDN is here.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Hurricane Harvey Experts from Johns Hopkins University

A list of experts from the Johns Hopkins University on various issues associated with the formation, onslaught and aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

ISSUE: Climate and hurricane formation

Anand Gnanadesikan, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences A climate modeler, Dr. Gnanadesikan has looked at a number of issues involving the atmospheric and oceanic circulation of the tropics, including how changes in circulation can affect hurricane formation. To reach Anand Gnanadesikan, contact Arthur Hirsch at 443-997-9909 or 443-462-8702 (cell) or email him at ahirsch6@jhu.edu

 

ISSUE: Immediate disaster response: Health care issues; hospitals

Gabor D. Kelen, M.D.
Director, Department of Emergency Medicine and professor of emergency medicine, School of Medicine. Director, Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response
“As with hurricanes Katrina and Rita, disasters such as Harvey that affect the health-care delivery system on a large scale present their own special challenges. Most immediately, for affected hospitals, nursing homes and other special facilities, there is a need to transfer and transport patients to other facilities. Sometimes these are very far away, distant from families, and with absence of fully needed medical records. Patients suitable for discharge from hospitals may have nowhere to go. Transfer and transport of infants, children and those being intensively managed also present specific challenges.”
To reach Gabor D. Kelen, contact Kim Polyniak at 443-510-5807 (cell) or email her at kpolyni1@jhmi.edu.  

Lauren M. Sauer, M.S.
Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine
“Hurricane Harvey is unprecedented in its magnitude and the resulting flooding, but we will continue to see storms like this, as a direct result of climate change. While Harvey stalls over the Gulf Coast of Texas, it is critical to consider the most vulnerable populations that will be affected by the storm and its aftermath. Protecting oneself and one’s family in a disaster requires resources, which are often expensive and limited. We must protect and prioritize the resources needed by the affected population now and in the direct aftermath of the storm.”
To reach Lauren M. Sauer, contact Kim Polyniak at 443-510-5807 (cell) or email her at kpolyni1@jhmi.edu.  

Michael G. Millin, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine
“The acute phase of this event is still in evolution, such that it will be days until full assessments have been completed and the full scope is realized. In the interim, numerous rescue and medical assets have been mobilized to provide assistance. Thousands have been evacuated to shelters, where there will eventually likely be a medical need.” Dr. Millin can also discuss general emergency medical services, general disaster medical response, technical rescue, search and rescue, and swift water rescue.
To reach Michael G. Millin, contact Kim Polyniak at 443-510-5807 (cell) or email her at kpolyni1@jhmi.edu.  

Paul Spiegel, MD, MPH
Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Refugee and Disaster Response, Bloomberg School of Public Health
“Given the scale of this event, prioritization needs to occur, as not everyone will be able to be helped at the same time. Despite back-up generators, some hospitals may need to be evacuated to more secure hospitals, where electricity and infrastructure is more secure and reliable. People who take medications for chronic diseases need to ensure that they have sufficient meds and/or can get these meds. This can be complicated, and complications from diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiac diseases, asthma, etc., may occur. It is important that the response takes this into account and has these medications for chronic diseases available.”
To reach Paul Spiegel, contact Barbara Benham at 443-703-8851 (cell) or email her at bbenham1@jhu.edu.

 

ISSUE: Emerging diseases and health problems

Gabor D. Kelen, M.D.
Director, Department of Emergency Medicine and professor of emergency medicine, School of Medicine. Director, Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response
“Contrary to conventional thought, there are few incremental immediate needs for health care directly related to hurricane impacts. However, over time there are serious limitations to the management of chronic disease with an incapacitated health care system. For example, access to needed routine medications may be an issue as pharmacies are also destroyed or closed. There are public health impacts over time as well, such as outbreaks of disease related sanitation.”
To reach Gabor D. Kelen, contact Kim Polyniak at 443-510-5807 (cell) or email her at kpolyni1@jhmi.edu.  

Michael G. Millin, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine
“The greatest short-term risks are likely to be related to clean water for drinking and sanitation. As the event evolves, management of patients with chronic medical conditions will become an issue. Previous similar events have brought challenges for patients with diabetes, cardiac diseases and colostomy care. Mental health resources will also need to be mobilized, as the stress of the event will cause havoc for those with baseline mental health illnesses. It’s events like this where we see the strength of the human condition as communities pull together to help each other.”
To reach Michael G. Millin, contact Kim Polyniak at 443-510-5807 (cell) or email her at kpolyni1@jhmi.edu.  

Paul Spiegel, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Refugee and Disaster Response, Bloomberg School of Public Health
“With the flooding, water and sanitation is an important issue. Proper and safe places to defecate are important so that drinking water is not contaminated. Otherwise, diarrhea and skin diseases may occur, among other diseases.”
To reach Paul Spiegel, contact Barbara Benham at 443-703-8851 (cell) or email her at bbenham1@jhu.edu

 

ISSUE: Impact on sewage treatment plants              

Ed Bouwer, Ph.D. Professor of Environmental Engineering, Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering “When floodwaters overwhelm a treatment plant, untreated sewage containing pathogens could would be released, creating health risks. Also, floodwater could damage the computer circuitry used to operate modern treatment plants, delaying the process of restarting the treatment plant after the floodwaters recede.”
Bouwer can be reached via his office phone, 410-516-7437, or email him at bouwer@jhu.edu. Alternate: contact Phil Sneiderman at 443-997-9907 or 443-226-0331 (cell) or email him at prs@jhu.edu

 

ISSUE: Learning from Harvey: Lessons for the Future

Lauren M. Sauer, M.S.
Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine
“Learning from this response to improve our next one is absolutely essential. Understanding the needs of the affected population, including shelter, evacuation support, daily living essentials, or healthcare, and providing those resources efficiently and effectively will save lives now and in the future.”
To reach Lauren M. Sauer, contact Kim Polyniak at 443-510-5807 (cell) or email her at kpolyni1@jhmi.edu.  

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