Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine joins the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine
University becomes the first veterinary school accepted as an affiliate organization
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – January 27, 2020 – The number of natural disasters worldwide has more than quadrupled in the last 50 years.1 In 2018 alone, there were 315 natural disasters, resulting in nearly 12,000 deaths and $131.7 billion in global economic losses.2
In recognition of the need for improved resilience in the face of disasters and the important contributions of the veterinary field, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) has established a Disaster Research Working Group (DRWG). With expertise in disaster management and disaster related public health & epidemiology, livestock health and safety, small animal medicine and sheltering, infectious disease and veterinary education, the group will elevate the understanding, knowledge and capacity to prepare for and respond to disasters, both regionally and globally.
“It is critical that veterinarians have a seat at the table in preparing for and responding to natural disasters,” said Sean Callanan, Ph.D., MVB, MRCVS, CertVR, DipECVP, FRCPath, dean of RUSVM. “Disasters involve people, animals and the environment we share, and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine’s Disaster Research Working Group will improve the resiliency of these groups through a holistic One Health approach.”
As part of this mission, RUSVM has been accepted as an affiliated organization to the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM), becoming first veterinary school to do so. WADEM is a multidisciplinary professional association whose mission is to improve global prehospital and emergency medicine, public health and disaster health care and preparedness. As an affiliate organization, RUSVM joins its sister institution, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) in bringing a multidisciplinary approach to this critical field.
“WADEM supports organizations worldwide that promote academic research and the preparedness capabilities of local and regional disaster response,” said Gregory Ciottone, M.D., FACEP, FFSEM, president of WADEM. “In that capacity, WADEM supports Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine’s Disaster Research Working Group and its important work promoting disaster resiliency in St. Kitts and the Caribbean.”
The DRWG will focus on the following areas:
- Developing and enhancing a culture of health, safety and resilience
- Improving hazard risk assessment and early warning systems
- Community-driven disaster risk reduction
- One Health disaster preparation, response and recovery
- Methods of inclusion of animal health and safety in disaster preparation
RUSVM’s research will take a cross-disciplinary approach, collaborating with other healthcare institutions within the institution’s parent company, Adtalem Global Education. The DRWG will join AUC’s Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine while using a One Health focus to contribute on a global scale to the safety and security of people, animals and the environment. To learn more about the DRWG, click here.
1 Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) (2019) Disaster Trends. Available at https://www.emdat.be/emdat_db/.
2 Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) (2019) Natural disasters 2018. Available at https://www.cred.be/natural-disasters-2018.