As I sit here this morning there is news that possible explosive devices are on Harvard’s campus and they have evacuated buildings. In a city still reeling from the Marathon bombings in April and a region that in the last 15 months has experienced Hurricane Sandy, the Newtown shootings and Winter Storm Nemo this all just seems too much. My first thought is always a mental check list of family and friends. I had someone running in the Boston Marathon and family just a few blocks from where the alleged bomber was captured. I have friends and a colleague who lives in Newtown. Next because of the industry we work in my thoughts often drift to the medical communities that barely get to do that mental check list of family and friends because they must spring into action.
Over the years at the Symposium we have had teams come share their stories of disaster preparedness and recovery. We’ve heard from the team rebuilding the hospital in Joplin, the small hospital in Tucson forced into the national spotlight during the Gabby Gifford’s shooting and even this past October we heard from the team at New York Presbyterian about Hurricane Sandy. Unfortunately access to these types of panels is becoming easier because these events, whether caused by Mother Nature or humans, are becoming more frequent.
Just a few weeks ago a group of doctors and nurses from several Boston Hospitals were going to the Philippines to help after the devastating Typhoon Haiyan. Were some of these the same doctors and nurses who treated Marathon bombing victims in April? I know this is their job and that they train to be able to help in these situations but even for them it has to be too much. The Symposium has always been about creating healing environments for patients, families and staff. I wonder if sometimes the last part of that isn’t paid as much attention to as we should.
This is certainly something I will be thinking about as we plan the conference sessions and topics for next year. What other topics do you think are important but maybe not talked enough about it? Now is the time to let me know as we are accepting submissions for next year’s event. You can find all the information you need at hcarefacilities.com/tospeak.asp.
I wish you all a safe and healthy holiday season and look forward to 2014!
Vice President, Symposium Director
Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo
PS Have a thought about the Symposium? Please feel free to contact me at any time at email@example.com.