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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(7), 676; doi:10.3390/ijerph13070676

Integrating Health Research into Disaster Response: The New NIH Disaster Research Response Program

1
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
2
MDB, Inc., Washington, DC 20036, USA
3
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA
4
National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
5
Contractor, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
6
Social & Scientific Systems, Inc., Durham, NC 27703, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Denise Blake, David M. Johnston and Carol MacDonald
Received: 22 May 2016 / Revised: 20 June 2016 / Accepted: 24 June 2016 / Published: 4 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Evolving Relationship between Science and Disaster Risk Reduction)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [863 KB, uploaded 4 July 2016]   |  

Abstract

The need for high quality and timely disaster research has been a topic of great discussion over the past several years. Recent high profile incidents have exposed gaps in knowledge about the health impacts of disasters or the benefits of specific interventions—such was the case with the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill and recent events associated with lead-contaminated drinking water in Flint, Michigan, and the evolving health crisis related to Zika virus disease. Our inability to perform timely research to inform the community about health and safety risks or address specific concerns further heightens anxiety and distrust. Since nearly all disasters, whether natural or man-made, have an environmental health component, it is critical that specialized research tools and trained researchers be readily available to evaluate complex exposures and health effects, especially for vulnerable sub-populations such as the elderly, children, pregnant women, and those with socioeconomic and environmental disparities. In response, the National Institute of Environmental Health Science has initiated a Disaster Research Response Program to create new tools, protocols, networks of researchers, training exercises, and outreach involving diverse groups of stakeholders to help overcome the challenges of disaster research and to improve our ability to collect vital information to reduce the adverse health impacts and improve future preparedness. View Full-Text
Keywords: disasters; disaster research; disaster epidemiology; environmental health; science preparedness; disaster risk reduction; strategic science disasters; disaster research; disaster epidemiology; environmental health; science preparedness; disaster risk reduction; strategic science
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Miller, A.; Yeskey, K.; Garantziotis, S.; Arnesen, S.; Bennett, A.; O’Fallon, L.; Thompson, C.; Reinlib, L.; Masten, S.; Remington, J.; Love, C.; Ramsey, S.; Rosselli, R.; Galluzzo, B.; Lee, J.; Kwok, R.; Hughes, J. Integrating Health Research into Disaster Response: The New NIH Disaster Research Response Program. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 676.

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