“I wish we didn’t need this center,” Dr. Alan Kadish, president of New York Medical College (NYMC) and the Touro College and University System, told an April 25 news conference at the Valhalla campus. He was referring to the the school’s Center of Excellence in Precision Responses to Bioterrorism and Disasters (CEPRBD), which operates at the school’s Center for Disaster Medicine.
“I wish responses to bioterrorism and disasters were a thing of the past, but unfortunately what we’ve seen in several places in just the last few weeks — from cyclones to terrorist attacks and threats of bioterrorism — suggest that the center is more important than ever, and the training we provide here is crucially important.”
The news conference was called to announce that New York state has increased its annual support for the center from the $750,000 announced for last year to $925,000. NYMC will match that amount.
The CEPRBD is the first of its kind in the state to provide training for first responders, law enforcement, hospitals, health care systems, schools and businesses in how to effectively respond to natural disasters, acts of terrorism and public health emergencies.
Dr. Robert W. Amler, dean of NYMC’s School of Health Sciences and Practice and vice president of government affairs for the institution, said the new level of funding represents a significant milestone in the history of NYMC and its Center for Disaster Medicine.
NYMC has committed to funding renovation of the facility housing the CEPRBD to create additional space for classroom learning along with hands-on training for disaster and terrorism events.
“The center provides hands-on training and expert guidance in the response to both natural and man-made disasters, including mass casualty incidents, terror events, accidental explosions, chemical spills and biological releases – catastrophic events that we in government, public safety and health care must be prepared for,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer.