Dr. Scott Needle, Chief Medical Officer for the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, was recently named to the National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters. One of 15 national experts appointed to the new federal advisory committee, Needle’s appointment was announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. The NACCD will provide advice and consultation on comprehensive planning and policies to meet the unique health needs of children before, during, and after a disaster or other public health emergency.
“Disasters can be very threatening and traumatic for children, and I’m grateful we have a Committee that will work to ensure our children come through these events safe, secure, and healthy through the efforts of our government and our communities,” said Dr. Needle. “It’s an honor to have been chosen to serve on this committee and have the chance to work with some extraordinary advocates for children.”
As the only primary care pediatrician on the committee, Dr. Needle said he has a unique obligation to speak to the perspective of community pediatricians and the important roles and insights they can offer in this area.
“It’s an amazing honor for us to share Dr. Needle’s expertise in the area of children and disaster preparedness at the national level,” said Mike Ellis, CEO of the Healthcare Network. “He is a true leader, not only in his field, but in his community as a whole.”
The committee was established under the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013. HHS solicited nominations beginning in January 2014 from scientific, public health, and medical fields. Members were selected from 82 nominations. Dr. Needle is joined by other non-federal committee members:
- Michael Anderson, M.D., vice president and chief medical officer at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland
- Allison Blake, Ph.D., commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Trenton
- Robin Gurwitch, Ph.D., psychologist and instructor at Duke University Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Durham, N.C.
- Linda MacIntyre, Ph.D., R.N., chief nurse for the American Red Cross, Washington, D.C.
- Jeffrey Upperman, M.D., associate professor of surgery at the University of Southern California and attending pediatric surgeon and associate chief of pediatric surgery at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
- Sarah Park, M.D., Hawaii state epidemiologist and chief of the Hawaii Disease Outbreak Control Division, Honolulu
The committee will advise on efforts that build on prior work by HHS and partner agencies to ensure U.S. communities impacted by disasters can meet the health needs of children. HHS is the principal federal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.
To learn more about preparing for and responding to the health impacts of disasters, visit www.phe.gov. For more information on HCN and its 14 locations throughout Collier County, go to www.healthcareswfl.org.