Disaster Day is the nation's largest student-led interprofessional emergency response simulation. The annual event includes over 600 students from the Texas A&M University colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and public health, as well as psychology, athletic training, veterinary students, and the Corp of Cadets. The simulation takes place at Disaster City, a world-class training facility for our nation’s first responders, and additional partners include the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the State Guard. During Disaster Day, interprofessional student teams work together to manage logistics, diagnosis, treat, and care of volunteer "patients" in a simulated disaster. But what happens when a pandemic and a winter crisis jeopardize the planning and implementation of this large-scale, high-profile event? The speaker will share reflections on the importance of teamwork, agility, and perseverance as well as other lessons learned while moving this interprofessional learning experience into a virtual world amidst global and local emergencies.
About Our Speaker:
Christine Kaunas, MPH is the Executive Director for Interprofessional Education & Research at the Texas A&M University (TAMU) Health Science Center (HSC). Working with all HSC units, she provides leadership for interprofessional education (IPE) across the institution by building infrastructure for and removing barriers to IPE, providing faculty development for IPE, and supporting interprofessional student activities. From 2011-2016, Kaunas served as the inaugural director for the ADVANCE Center at TAMU, a $3.5 million, National Science Foundation-funded effort to promote the success of women faculty, particularly those in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from DePaul University in Chicago, completed her master’s degree in public health (epidemiology) at San Diego State University, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in higher education administration.