For release: September 15, 2010
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843
The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded the Loewenberg School of Nursing and the
School of Public Health at the University of Memphis a $1.4 million grant to streamline
medical evacuation procedures during a catastrophe.
The two-year study will develop and test a training program to ensure effective interaction
between civilian and military operations in the event of a crisis requiring aeromedical
evacuation. Significant differences exist between civilian and military medical procedures,
training, and protocols for patient identification, selection, and preparation in
an aeromedical evacuation. These differences create barriers to effective patient
care, unnecessary failures in medical logistics systems, and increased costs and risks
to aeromedical crews and patients during crises such as Hurricane Katrina and the
This project aims to identify the essential elements of the principles of aeromedical
evacuation and includes triage, patient selection, patient preparation, patient receipt,
and the planning components as they relate to the mission of the Department of Defense.
The goal is to create a training program that eventually will be implemented across
the nation and the world.
Other team members in the project are the Medical Education and Research Institute
in Memphis and the National Center for Medical Readiness at Wright State University
in Dayton, Ohio.
“The program will enhance the capabilities of pre-hospital and hospital providers
to participate more smoothly in aeromedical evacuations and to reduce morbidity and
mortality in disaster situations,” said Dr. Robert Koch, principal investigator and
associate dean of the Loewenberg School of Nursing.
“This project is of utmost importance to the public health response to large-scale
disasters, where efficient coordination of aeromedical military and civilian operations
is essential in saving lives,” said Dr. Marian Levy, co-principal investigator and
director of the U of M’s Master of Public Health program. “Our deliverables will help
strengthen international, national, and local response to public health disasters.”