A unique hospital physician disaster response system for a nonemployed medical staff


  • James D. Leo, MD, FCCP
  • Desiree Thomas, RN, MSN, CCRN
  • Ginger Alhadeff, BA, RN, MA




disaster, emergency, response


Private hospitals with nonemployed, volunteer medical staffs face a special challenge in meeting the patient-care needs posed by a mass casualty incident (MCI). Although most disaster response systems focus on emergency department and trauma management, such systems often do not provide for the need to triage existing inpatients to create room for incoming casualties, for continuity of physician care for those patients, as well as for MCI victims in case of major disaster. Such systems must also provide a mechanism for ethical and appropriate rationing of limited resources during a MCI. Community hospitals without 24/7 in-house physicians must provide a mechanism for physician care for patients in situations in which access to the hospital may be limited by the disaster (eg, major earthquake or flood). This article describes a system established at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, a 740-bed not-for-profit hospital with a volunteer medical staff, to ensure continuity of physician care in a major disaster. To our knowledge, this is the first published report of such a system.

Author Biographies

James D. Leo, MD, FCCP

Associate Chief Medical Officer, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Long Beach, California.

Desiree Thomas, RN, MSN, CCRN

Trauma Surge Coordinator, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Long Beach, California.

Ginger Alhadeff, BA, RN, MA

Director of Safety, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Long Beach, California.


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How to Cite

Leo, MD, FCCP, J. D., D. Thomas, RN, MSN, CCRN, and G. Alhadeff, BA, RN, MA. “A Unique Hospital Physician Disaster Response System for a Nonemployed Medical Staff”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 4, no. 2, Mar. 2009, pp. 95-100, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2009.0014.




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