on this page show procedures used by the Army to decontaminate people
exposed to chemical and biological agents.
26 through April 28, 2003, the NYU College of Dentistry, in association
with the Associated Medical Schools of New York, the Medical Society
of New York State, the New York State Academic Dental Centers, and
the New York City Department of Health, hosted a training course,
“The Medical Management of Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear
Agent Threats,” taught by experts from the U.S. Army Medical
Research Institute for Chemical Defense. Nearly 100 people completed
the course, and many more expressed interest or stopped by over
the three-day period. The course, which was free, was open to faculty
and students from medical and dental institutions across the city
and state. Faculty received CME/CDE credits, and students received
a certificate of participation upon completion of the course.
The event marked the first time that dentists have participated
in such a comprehensive program in New York
City. The goal was to give participants the opportunity to educate
and prepare themselves to respond appropriately in the event of
a catastrophic public health crisis. Training included classroom
lectures and demonstrations, as well as hands-on demonstrations
of triage and decontamination of people exposed to chemical and
Dean Alfano said, “NYU as well as other medical and dental
centers in the New York City area have been working together on
this particular issue of terrorism preparedness, and we are pleased
that the Army agreed to produce this course for medical and dental
faculty and students in the NYC/NYS area. As 9/11 demonstrated,
it is important, as health care providers, that we educate ourselves
for potential catastrophic events, such as a chemical attack.”
Dr. Dianne Rekow, Director of Translational Research at the NYU
College of Dentistry and Chairperson of NYUCD’s Bioterrorism
and Catastrophe Response Task Force, who helped organize the course,
said, “Experts from disparate disciplines, such as academic
and clinical dentistry, medicine and public health, emergency management,
fire departments, and the military, had the opportunity to engage
in discussions that we hope will set the stage for future collaboration.
The outcomes of such collaboration should further strengthen New
York City’s ability to respond to threats and reaffirm its
innovation and leadership in catastrophe preparedness principles
Recent months have seen a great deal of activity surrounding the
issue of a role for dentistry in bioterrorism preparedness. Here
are some highlights:
- The ADEA
annual meeting included a symposium on dentistry and terrorism
preparedness. The featured speaker at the annual meeting, New
York State Health Commissioner Dr. Antonia C. Novello, subsequently
invited Dean Alfano to meet with her in Albany to present his
ideas on this issue.
- The ADA
and HHS cosponsored a major conference on bioterrorism and dentistry’s
response at which Dean Alfano and Dr. Rekow were featured speakers.
- Dean Alfano
made a presentation to Dr. Thomas Frieden, NYC’s Health
Commissioner, about using dentists’ offices as inoculation
sites or places to dispense medications in the event of an emergency,
thereby greatly expanding access to care for the general public
and sparing physicians and other health professionals to do other
things in times of crisis. His presentation led to the inclusion
of dentists in the NYC emergency plan for mass inoculations for
smallpox. The plan calls for about 2,000 dentists to receive certification
to deliver the vaccine, along with other health care providers.
This action makes NYC the first city to officially “sanction”
dentists to do these inoculations.
- Under Dr.
Rekow’s direction, NYUCD is implementing the creation of
educational modules related to
terrorism preparedness and response as part of the overall curriculum.
This initiative has garnered support from state and national dental
organizations and academic dental centers.
- The University
of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Dental School (UMDNJ)
and NYUCD have independently developed catastrophe preparedness
plans, including a “shelter in place” component. The
two schools will get together soon to compare notes.
- Dr. Rekow
was part of an all-university group that traveled to Washington,
D.C., to brief the New York Congressional delegation on activities
in progress at the NYU Center for Catastrophe Preparedness.