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NYMC Center Of Excellence In Precision Responses To Bioterrorism And Disasters Awarded $750,000 In State Funding

“The best possible strategy in safeguarding public health and safety against any disaster is preparation. Preparation is the cornerstone of this Center.”

Date: July 10, 2018
Administration, faculty, staff and elected officials gather at the Center of Excellence in Precision Responses to Bioterrorism and Disasters on the occasion of the awarding of $750,000 in funding from New York State.
Administration, faculty, staff and elected officials gather at the Center of Excellence in Precision Responses to Bioterrorism and Disasters on the occasion of the awarding of $750,000 in funding from New York State.
Media Contact:

Jennifer Riekert, M.B.A.
Vice President of Communications
New York Medical College
(914) 594-4552
jennifer_riekert@nymc.edu

The Center of Excellence, which was the first of its kind in New York, provides training and expertise to improve responses to disasters and acts of terrorism.  

Valhalla, N.Y., July 10, 2018 – The New York Medical College (NYMC) Center of Excellence in Precision Responses to Bioterrorism and Disasters will receive $750,000 from New York State, a major increase in funding for a vitally needed program. New York State increased its financial support for the Center from an initial annual pledge of $500,000 to $750,000, a sum that is matched by NYMC in support of the expanding work and impact of the Center.

The Center of Excellence combines NYMC’s globally recognized expertise in disaster medicine and medical countermeasures and works with partners in New York State to increase the capacity of the first responders, hospitals, and health care systems to respond to disasters, acts of terrorism and public health emergencies.The 2017 creation of the Center of Excellence in Precision Responses to Bioterrorism and Disasters, which was the first of its kind in New York, provides training and expertise to improve responses to disasters and acts of terrorism.  

State Senator Terrence Murphy, who helped secure the initial and increased funding for the Center, said, “There is a new act of terrorism virtually every day throughout the world. New Yorkers are very much aware that we are a high profile target. This is the first Center of Excellence in the Mid-Hudson Region. It is critical to our region’s preparedness to have trained personnel who can respond to any life-threatening incident within our communities. I am proud to have secured $750,000 in funding for the Center, to expand their mission to protect our families from catastrophic bio-terrorism and man-made disasters.”

County Executive George Latimer said, “In today’s world, preparation for any type of disaster is paramount. Additionally, ensuring our first responders and health care providers have the training and resources they need in case of a bio-emergency allows them to feel secure knowing that if disaster ever were to strike they are prepared and know what steps to take to keep us safe. This funding will go toward realizing those necessary goals.”

Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti said, “I am pleased that the state of New York is able to partner with New York Medical College to build the Center which brings together the best and the brightest to develop innovative tools which shield our community from those who would destroy our way of life. I applaud their vision and perseverance in fashioning this unique and much needed program.”

This increased financial support will allow NYMC to expand the training programs for hospitals, health systems, and first responders throughout New York State. The school has committed funding for the renovation of a new state-of-the-art dedicated training facility on its Valhalla campus that will provide additional space for classroom learning, disaster simulation and real-world, scenario-based training to first responders. This capital renovation expands the Center’s existing training facility that includes a unique stimulation facility for the most severe and dynamic environments. This "austere medicine" training facility conducts sensory-immersion training to first responders—particularly SWAT teams and their medical components—a  resource unmatched anywhere in the United States outside of the military and specialized federal government facilities.

Kenneth E. Raske, President of the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), who is working with the Center to develop training for emergency departments on the management of large mass casualty events, said, “Our region is at great risk for mass casualty attacks and our hospitals take seriously their responsibility to save lives. The Mass Casualty Triage training course GNYHA is developing with the Center for Disaster Medicine will give our hospital providers the critical tools needed when seconds count. GNYHA thanks the State for providing this critical funding increase and looks forward to working with the Center to pilot the course at several of our member hospitals over the coming months.”

The Center of Excellence in Precision Responses to Bioterrorism and Disasters at New York Medical College received its designation in 2017 as a Center of Excellence by the New York State Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) Program. This program, administered by Empire State Development, is designed to provide innovative and technologically advanced training and education to the workforce in New York State.

New York State has established and currently supports 11 Centers of Excellence throughout the State. Three such centers exist in Rochester, two each in Buffalo and Long Island, and one in Syracuse, Albany and Binghamton. Prior to the opening of this Center in Valhalla, the Hudson Valley had no such designation.

For more information on this and other training programs offered by the Center of Excellence in Precision Responses to Bioterrorism and Disasters at NYMC, please contact the Center Director, Dr. Michael Reilly at 914-594-1750 or disaster_medicine@nymc.edu.

Pictured above:

Back from leftEdward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., Chancellor and CEO, New York Medical College; Michael Hagan, President, Westchester Police Benevolent Association; John Hodges, Chief Inspector, Westchester County Police; Alonzo West, President, Westchester County Correction Officers' Benevolent Association; New York State Senator Terrence Murphy; and Michael J. Reilly, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., Director, Center of Disaster Medicine, New York Medical College.

Front from leftLaura Iavicoli, M.D., Associate Director of the Emergency Department EMS/ Emergency Management Director of the Emergency Department NYCHH Elmhurst; Robert W. Amler, M.D., M.B.A., Vice President for Government Affairs, New York Medical College; New York State Assemblyman Tom AbinantiSherlita Amler, M.D., M.S., Westchester County Commissioner of Health; Jenna Mandel-Ricci, Vice President, Regulatory and Professional Affairs, Greater New York Hospital Association; Peter DiChiara, Westchester County Superior Correction Officers; Captain Mark Busche, Westchester County Police.

New York Medical College
Founded in 1860, NYMC is one of the oldest and largest health sciences colleges in the country with more than 1,400 students, 1,300 residents and clinical fellows, nearly 3,000 faculty members, and 19,000 living alumni. The College, which joined the Touro College and University System in 2011, is located in Westchester County, New York, and offers degrees from the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences, the School of Health Sciences and Practice, a School of Dental Medicine and a School of Nursing. NYMC provides a wide variety of clinical training opportunities for students, residents, and practitioners.