American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine to Host Disaster Medicine Virtual Conference

April 21, 2021
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American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine to Host Disaster Medicine Virtual Conference

Former US Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona will deliver keynote address

Sint Maarten – April 21, 2021 – After hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the Caribbean in September 2017, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) began working with global experts on disaster medicine to explore ways to help islands like Sint Maarten prepare for and handle those kinds of disastrous events. These discussions led to the creation of the Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine (CCDM), in partnership with Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (HMFP) and based at AUC, that brings in global expertise while cooperating with local and regional Caribbean authorities to understand the best way to help the region build resilience against disasters, natural or man-made. 

On Wednesday, April 28, AUC and the Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine will host a 2021 International Conference featuring global disaster medicine thought leaders from across disciplines including medicine, nursing, public health, veterinary medicine, government and more. The focus of the day will be prevention, preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery from all-hazards events.

According to a 2020 report published by the US Agency for International Development and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, disasters claimed approximately 1.23 million lives and affected a total of over 4 billion people between 2000 – 2019. Natural disasters affect everyone, from the elderly, families and children to pets and livestock. This year’s conference will highlight this concept of One Health, the idea that Zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19 are more likely to emerge as the link between humans and animals strengthens.  Coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters can leave survivors struggling with mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and communities battling a host of infectious diseases. With a catastrophic impact on global health, these areas will be in sharp focus for this year’s conference.

The conference will kick off with a keynote address from Dr. Richard Carmona, the 17th surgeon general of the United States. Dr. Carmona has an extensive leadership background that includes work in public health, emergency preparedness, law enforcement and healthcare management, in addition to his work as a trauma surgeon and his decorated service career in the United States Army Special Forces. He is currently chief of health innovations at Canyon Ranch and a distinguished professor at the University of Arizona and Ohio State University.

“AUC School of Medicine is honored to welcome Dr. Carmona as we bring together an international community to focus on health care providers’ roles in preparation of and response to disasters in their communities,” said Dr. Heidi Chumley, provost, AUC School of Medicine. “We helped found the CCDM to bring greater partnership, training and resources to disaster healthcare preparation and response, and this conference continues to be a crucial component of that work.” 

Attendees of the conference will also receive free and exclusive access to a four-part AUC disaster medicine education series. The first program will take place June 1st featuring Craig Fugate, chief emergency management officer at One Concern and administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA under President Obama.

“It is very important that convocations like this come together, that information is exchanged, so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past and that we’re optimally prepared at all times,” said Carmona.

Healthcare professionals, administrators, educators, researchers and emergency personnel are encouraged to attend. An application for CME credit has been filed with the American Academy of Family Physicians. Determination of credit is pending. For more information about CCDM and to register for the virtual conference, visit

About American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

Since 1978, AUC has been training physicians through an international learning experience with an emphasis on social accountability and engagement. Comprised of campuses in Sint Maarten and the United Kingdom, affiliated teaching hospitals in the U.S. and the U.K. and internationally recognized faculty, AUC has a diverse medical education program for today’s globally minded physician. AUC is part of Adtalem Global Education (NYSE: ATGE). For more information on our accreditation, please visit

About Adtalem Global Education 
Adtalem Global Education Inc. (NYSE: ATGE; member S&P MidCap 400 Index) is a leading global education provider and the parent organization of American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, Becker Professional Education, Chamberlain University, EduPristine, Ross University School of Medicine and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter (@adtalemglobal) and LinkedIn