by Ricky Fine
From the Afghan refugee crisis, to emergency
response, anthrax investigation, and other issues, the School's
alumni have responded to the public health challenges in the post-Sept.
11th world. A sampling of their efforts follows:
Novello, MD, MPH '82, DrPH '00, commissioner of health for the
state of New York. Moments after the attacks, Novello began contacting
hospitals throughout New York City, in upstate New York, and in
the neighboring states to ensure sufficient hospital beds were available.
She also coordinated blood supplies, emergency medical personnel,
and environmental health staff.
Noji, MD, MPH '87, senior medical and public health adviser,
Emergency Operations and Information Center, Office of Homeland
Security. Noji has been assigned to the Executive Office of the
President, The White House, to work on public health issues following
the bioterrorism attacks.
Perrin, MD, MPH '82, chief medical officer, International Committee
of the Red Cross (ICRC). In supervising the ICRC's health and assistance
actions, he is working on the Afghanistan situation as well as on
other current crises.
George Korch Jr., PhD '85, postdoctoral fellow '87. Lieutenant
Colonel Korch is the deputy commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research
Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID, the Department of Defense's
only biosafety level 4 laboratory). He oversees research operations
and mission planning, including the development of vaccines, therapeutics,
and medical diagnostics.
Martin Sanders, PhD '97, postdoctoral fellow '98. Sanders, currently
a research scientist at Battelle, Inc., in Bel Air, Md., works for
federal and state clients to develop and implement emergency response
protocols and technology to counter nuclear, biological, and chemical
Richard Brennan, MBBS, MPH '96, director of the Health Unit
at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The IRC provides humanitarian
relief and protection to refugees and conflict-affected populations
in 28 countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. It
is currently providing emergency food aid and environmental health
services inside Afghanistan.
Van Soest, MSc, MPH '98, operational director for the Afghan
region for Médecins Sans Frontières Holland (MSF-Holland).
Based in MSF-Holland's headquarters in Amsterdam, Van Soest, an
epidemiologist, supervises health programs serving populations in
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.
Abdul Ghaffar, PhD '01, associate, the School's Center for International
Emergency, Disaster, and Refugee Studies. He is currently working
in Peshawar, Pakistan, conducting research on injuries among the
Afghan refugee population.
Peter Beilenson, MD, MPH '90, Baltimore City commissioner
of health. In the week following the Sept. 11 attack, Beilenson
quickly moved to set up an early warning, biosurveillance system
for Baltimore City that collects data daily from emergency room
visits by chief complaint, type of ambulance call, elementary school
attendance, animal carcasses that are picked up, community health
center visits by chief complaint, and, very shortly, over-the-counter
sales of flu medications from pharmacies.
Steven Wiersma, MD, MPH '93, chief, Bureau of Epidemiology,
and state epidemiologist, Florida Department of Health. He is leading
the Florida investigation into the first cases of intentional anthrax
ever to appear in the United States.
Anna Castro Caffarelli, MHS '98, coordinator, New York City
Asthma Partnership. She works to ensure that all asthma programs
in New York City are informed of the latest information on air quality,
provides updates on Department of Health activities, and responds
to the public's questions and concern about anthrax and other health
Anbarasi Edward-Raj, PhD, MPH '96, director for maternal and
child health, World Relief. World Relief, upon the request of the
Iranian government, has sent a team to conduct a needs assessment
of the Afghan refugees in Iran.
Ricky Fine is director of Alumni Affairs and Governmental Relations.