University of Arizona pre-medicine and health-studies students who serve on the Student Health Advocacy Committee will host a free and open-to-the-public forum on Jan. 31 to discuss the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting and how health-care professionals in Tucson responded.
The tragedy created the need for a massive medical response requiring an all-hands-on-deck approach to address the needs of the injured while also managing the media and the public's request for information.
The UA Student Health Advocacy Committee, known as SHAC, a program housed within the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, wants to learn from the experiences of the health professionals working the minutes, hours and days after the shooting.
"We know from various outcomes that the tragedy was handled with professionalism and grace both at the University of Arizona Medical Center and by other health-care organizations throughout the Tucson community, but we wanted to hear first-hand and share what we learned with the public," said SHAC chair David Pierce.
Pierce, a pre-medicine and public health major, said, "We want to learn about the systems that are in place or were created to address the immediate patient needs and to know if their medical training had prepared them for the tense hours after the injured arrived. Also, we want to know how they faced the pressure of national attention and the visits of important political figures and keep the balance between caring for the injured and informing the public."
The forum will take place from 7-9 p.m. in the UA Student Memorial Center North Grand Ballroom and will feature:
- Brad Bradley, a firefighter present at the shooting scene;
- Dr. Randall S. Friese, a trauma surgeon at the UA medical center;
- Katie Nash, director of communications who managed the media needs at the UA medical center;
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Dr. Katherine Hiller, the attending physician the day of the shooting;
- Michelle Ziemba, director of trauma who helped build and is the manager of the UA medical center trauma program; and
- Dr. Andreas Theodorou, chief medical officer of the UA medical center who provideded medical and administrative oversight.
The SHAC students recently worked on an initiative with the UA medical center to create a smoke-free campus.
The group originally was started in 1977 in cooperation with the UA's student government to provide an avenue for students to offer input and assistance to Campus Health Services. The program covers a broad range of health topics and is open to all majors looking to promote health advocacy initiatives.