Congratulations Donna Fowler

21 May
Donna Fowler, R.Ph., was selected by her team members with the TX-3 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) as their Member of the Year and a NDMS Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to her on May 3, 2011 by Jack W. Beall, Director of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) for Donna’s efforts on behalf of her TX-3 DMAT team out of Galveston, Texas during the 2011 Integrated Medical, Public Health, Preparedness and Response Training Summit held in Grapevine, Texas. The summit is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services(HHS). This training summit brings together HHS partners including the National Disaster Medical System, the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP), and the United States Public Health Service (USPHS). Approximately 2,300 attendees were at this National training summit.
Donna Fowler who lives in Hutto, Texas is a 1980 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin School of Pharmacy, is a full-time staff pharmacist at Round Rock Medical Center and is a pharmacist member of the Texas DMAT-3 team. Donna Fowler has been a staff pharmacist at Round Rock Medical Center since it was first opened in 1983. Donna stated: ” It is such an honor to be selected by my peers as the 2011 Texas 3  DMAT Member of the Year and to be presented with the NDMS Outstanding Achievement Award by Director Jack Beall. I joined DMAT in 2002, following 9/11, as a way of giving back to my country and I take being a DMAT professional very seriously. To see firsthand the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Rita on our Texas coast, to be deployed on numerous other hurricanes and to train for future natural or man-made disasters has been a very challenging and rewarding commitment.”
The National Disaster Medical System is a federally coordinated system that supplements and works with America’s medical response capability.  The overall purpose of the NDMS is to supplement an integrated National medical response capability for assisting State and local authorities in dealing with the medical impacts of major peacetime disasters and to provide support to the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs medical systems in caring for casualties evacuated back to the U.S. from overseas armed conventional conflicts.

The National Response Framework utilizes the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), as part of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Preparedness and Response, under Emergency Support Function #8, Health and Medical Services, to support Federal agencies in the management and coordination of the Federal medical response to major emergencies and federally declared disasters including:

  • Natural Disasters
  • Major Transportation Accidents
  • Technological Disasters
  • Acts of Terrorism including Weapons of Mass Destruction Events

A DMAT is a group of professional and para-professional medical personnel (supported by a cadre of logistical and administrative staff) designed to provide medical care during a disaster or other event. NDMS recruits personnel for specific vacancies, plans for training opportunities, and coordinates the deployment of the teams.

DMATs are designed to be a rapid-response element to supplement local medical care until other Federal or contract resources can be mobilized, or the situation is resolved. DMATs deploy to disaster sites with sufficient supplies and equipment to sustain themselves for an initial period of 72 hours while providing medical care at a fixed or temporary medical care site. The personnel are activated for a period of two weeks.

In mass casualty incidents, their responsibilities may include triaging patients, providing high-quality medical care despite the adverse and austere environment often found at a disaster site, patient reception at staging facilities and preparing patients for evacuation.

Under the rare circumstance that disaster victims are evacuated to a different locale to receive definitive medical care, DMATs may be activated to support patient reception and disposition of patients to hospitals. DMATs are principally a community resource available to support local, regional, and State requirements. However, as a National resource they can be federalized.

NDMS/DMAT personnel are required to maintain appropriate certifications and licensure within their discipline. When personnel are activated as Federal employees, licensure and certification is recognized by all States. Additionally, DMAT personnel are paid while serving as intermittent federal employees and have the protection of the Federal Tort Claims Act in which the Federal Government becomes the defendant in the event of a malpractice claim.

There are 55 DMAT teams nationwide and generally consist of 50 to 125 members, from which the Team Leader chooses 35 to deploy on most missions. Only about 3,000 DMAT team members are fully certified and ready to deploy; serving a United States population of more than 300 million people. A wealth of information can be found online at about DMAT via the United States Department of Health and Human Services website.


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