Tulane University Disaster Relief Experts

March 29, 2005

Michael Strecker
Phone: (504) 865-5210

Relief Work   

International health expert Nancy Mock, who specializes in complex disaster and emergency management, can comment on the immediate and long-term considerations that survivors, aid workers and governments face in addressing the impact of the tsunami and the latest earthquake in Asia. Mock helps direct the Tulane Summer Institute for Disaster Management and Complex Emergency Studies, a component of which is taught each summer in Sri Lanka. Contact: or 504-988-7318.   

Stanley Samarasinghe, a Payson Institute clinical associate professor and native Sri Lankan present when the tsunami hit, is currently working to deliver relief assistance to Trincomalee, one of the worst affected areas in Sri Lanka and home of a Tulane student summer program. Contact: or 703-243-0879.   

Michael J. Zakour, associate professor of social work, is director of the Disaster and Volunteerism Research Center. He can speak on disaster response and volunteerism in the aftermath of the tsunami and the earthquakes. Contact: or 504-865-  5314.   

International Public Health Response   

Pierre Buekens, dean of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and an expert on the health of mothers and children in the developing world, can comment on the response of public health professionals and aid agencies to the tsunami and earthquake disasters. He also can discuss plans by Tulane public health experts to assist relief efforts. Contact:  or 504-988-5397.   

International Health Experts with Indonesian Experience   

Carl Kendall, acting chair of the department of international health and development at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, has conducted research in Indonesia and can comment on community-based initiatives and multi-agency coordination in response to natural disasters. Contact: or 504-988-2334.   

Tulane international health researcher Laura Murphy is an expert on Indonesia and relief  efforts.  Contact: or 504-988-  2681.   

Infectious Diseases in the Wake of the Tsunami and Earthquake   

Experts from the Tulane Center for Infectious Diseases and the tropical medicine department can comment on the risk of infectious diseases spreading throughout the disaster area. Contact: physician Richard Oberhelman, cholera and diarrheal diseases in children, or 504-988-2511;  physician Susan McLellan, community-based interventions to prevent the spread of  infectious diseases, or 504-988-7316; Dawn  Wesson,  mosquito-borne disease expert, or 504  -908-1646; Don Krogstad, director of Tulane Center for Infectious Diseases and chair of  tropical  medicine, or 504-988-  3558; Paul  Brindley, expert in water-borne parasites, or 504-988-  4645.   

Mental Health Needs of Children and Communities after Disaster   

Tulane child psychiatrist Neil Boris, or  504-988-3673, and researcher Lisanne Brown, or 504-988-  3673, can  comment on the mental health needs of orphans in the wake of the tsunami and earthquake.   

Water Quality Management Concerns   

Tulane water quality expert A.J. Englande, who has worked on water quality issues in Thailand, can comment on measures needed to improve the quality of drinking water in the wake of the disasters. Contact: or 504-988-  2765.   

Assaf A. Abdelghani, professor and chair of environmental health sciences at Tulane, can comment on what needs to be done in terms of water protection, vector control and solid waste and human disposal in the tsunami-ravaged areas. Contact or 504-988-2769.   

Food and Nutrition After the Storm   

Tulane international health and nutrition experts John Mason and Diego Rose, both of whom have research experience in Asia, can comment on food security in the aftermath of the disasters. Contact: Diego Rose, or 504-988-  5742; John Mason, or 504-722-7066.   

A View Inside the Refugee Camp   

Tulane nurse epidemiologist Patty Kissinger has personal experience working in refugee camps. She can speak to the health risks and the quality of life faced by refugees. Contact: or 504-988-7320.   

Public Health Experts with Experience in India and Malaysia   

Latha Rajan from the Department of Tropical Medicine is a physician with extensive clinical and public health experience in India and Malaysia who can respond to questions regarding prevention, laboratory diagnosis and management of infectious diseases. Rajan speaks several local languages, including Bahasa, Malaysia and Hindi, Malayalam, and Tamil. Contact: or 504-988-7970.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000