| posted by Joe Hice |

Dr. Harms, Dean Bristol Participate in Forum Assessing North Carolina’s Oil Spill Preparedness

Dr. Craig Harms and Dean David Bristol of NC State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine are participating in a special forum that will assess North Carolina’s preparedness to respond and recover from an oil spill event. Free and open to the public, the forum will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, July 29, at the UNC Friday Center for Continuing Education in Chapel Hill.

The “One Health Forum on North Carolina Oil Spill Response, Recovery and Health Effects” includes speakers from state and federal agencies who have expertise in public health, marine science, emergency management, and natural resources. Discussion will focus on the state’s strengths, the required coordination and collaboration among organizations, the training and use of volunteers, and areas that need additional coverage and management.

Dean Bristol and Dean Barbara Rimer of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health will open the forum and welcome participants at 9 a.m.

At 1 p.m. Dr. Harms, an associate professor of aquatic, wildlife, and zoological medicine, will discuss what he learned in his recent animal rescue work in the Gulf and how that experience could relate to protecting marine life in North Carolina.

Dr. Harms, along with CVM colleagues Dr. Greg Lewbart and veterinary technician Shane Christian, responded to an emergency request from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to work with the Audubon Nature Institute in managing turtle rescue efforts following the BP oil spill. The trio spent a total of three weeks in the Gulf working with green, loggerhead, hawksbill, and the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles.

Go to http://www.sph.unc.edu/oilspill for more information on the One Health Forum including an agenda and a registration form. You may also contact Bill Gentry wgentry@email.unc.edu at 919.966.4228.

The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education is located at 100 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill (map and directions)

Forum participants include:

  • UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
  • N.C. State University, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • North Carolina emergency managers & public health senior staff
  • UNC Institute for the Environment
  • UNC School of Medicine and School of Nursing
  • N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • N.C. Department of Agriculture veterinarians
  • Regional veterinarians
  • U.S. Coast Guard senior staff
  • UNC marine scientists
  • North Carolina coastal county managers
  • North Carolina county health directors
  • Emergency managers and health preparedness coordinators
  • County environmental health chiefs and supervisors
  • State regional response teams
  • State public health preparedness and response representatives
  • Elected state and local officials
  • Business and tourism representatives

The One Health concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans and animals. The synergism achieved will advance health care for the 21st century and beyond by accelerating biomedical research discoveries, enhancing public health efficacy, expeditiously expanding the scientific knowledge base, and improving medical education and clinical care.

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