TOPIC: Emergency Response, Mental Health
On February 27, 2010, a devastating earthquake occurred off the coast of Chile. Registering a magnitude of 8.8, the quake also triggered a tsunami that ravaged the Chilean coast. By the day’s end there were hundreds dead and more than 1.5 million people displaced from their homes. In response to this disaster, Dr. Judith Palfrey, the Department of Medicine’s Global Pediatric Program Director, helped to form Recupera Chile, a multi-disciplinary post-disaster community development program. The recovery effort goes on to this day, with help from many, including Boston Children’s Hospital employees. One such employee, Dr. Lili Peacock-Chambers, MD worked with the Chilean community care manager as well as colleagues from the University of Concepcion, to help design mental health interventions for the children and families with ongoing suffering after this disaster. She also gained insight to how communities and families can engage with universities and elementary school partnerships to strengthen child health and education services for a vulnerable population during long-term natural disaster recovery.