With a recognized increase in the number and severity of natural and other types of disasters, pediatric health care providers are in a critical position to assist in all aspects of hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery. While there has been significant progress in pediatric preparedness, each hurricane highlights new issues that require planning and resolution. Much can be done to maintain practice operations and support children and families during the response and recovery phases (short- and long-term) after hurricanes have occurred.

The need for pediatricians to be prepared to offer psychosocial support after a disaster is critical. Children and families can experience post-event adjustment reactions including stress, depression, anxiety, regression, somatic symptoms, bereavement, exacerbation of preexisting conditions, or posttraumatic stress disorder. Pediatricians may also experience personal losses, yet they will still be tasked with delivering care in difficult environments, all the while hearing of others’ tragic stories. Caregiver fatigue can threaten the pediatrician’s well-being, the ability to provide consistent high-quality care, and the desire to continue serving the community.

Recovery after a disaster can be a prolonged and difficult process. Pediatricians can provide a crucial source of stability by quickly restoring access to routine and familiar medical care. During disaster recovery, pediatricians can take actions to connect with their American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) chapter, continue self-care and support colleagues and families impacted by the disaster, restore access to medical care, and serve as a pediatric advisor or child advocate for recovery efforts. Pediatricians can also encourage continuation of child care and schools, and safe clean-up to allow children to return to homes and community areas. Offering safe play areas for children is another consideration.

This webinar will provide details on why disaster response and recovery efforts are critically important for all pediatricians and how these clinicians can prepare to respond and help colleagues and families to recover after a disaster. Detailed information on which issues might arise during prolonged recovery from a disaster and how pediatricians can help will be discussed. Based on actual examples from the 2017 hurricane season, this webinar will strive to improve pediatricians’ abilities to protect their practices, care for their patients, promote optimal mental health and well-being, and support community health resilience.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

3:00pm CDT

Registration Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Q2LXZ5X

1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM Available