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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 2, 2003

Medical Expert To Discuss Psychosocial Responses To Disasters

Traumatic events can have deep psychological impacts on individuals, families and entire communities. Health care providers need to know how to recognize and respond to these issues.

On Thursday, Oct. 9, Lt. Col. Charles C. Engel, Jr., M.D., of the U.S. Army Medical Corps, will deliver the free lecture, "Psychosocial Issues Arising from the Aftermath of Disasters, War, and Other Traumatic Events." The presentation will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 20 of the Nursing Building on the University of Iowa campus. It also will be broadcast live over the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) and via streaming video on the Web.

Engel will provide a historical review of psychosocial issues that have evolved after war, terrorism and disasters. He will discuss the impact these events have had on the population, as well as how the public health community can better prepare to respond to these issues.

The program is part of the fall 2003 Grand Rounds series sponsored by the Iowa Center for Public Health Preparedness (ICPHP). Advanced registration is requested and may be completed online at Links to the live web broadcast, as well as archives of past presentations, are available on the center's site.

Engel is an associate professor and assistant chair of the department of psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., and the director of the Department of Defense Deployment Health Clinical Center at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He is a psychiatrist-epidemiologist and an expert on population-based health care and clinical risk communication around idiopathic symptom syndromes, particularly as they manifest after war, terrorism and disasters. He is noted for his successful treatment of the multi-symptom conditions among Gulf War veterans.

The presentation is sponsored by the Iowa Center for Public Health Preparedness, based in the UI College of Public Health and the Iowa Association of Local Public Health Agencies. The ICPHP is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a cooperative agreement with the Association of Schools of Public Health.

For more information about the Grand Rounds series, contact Angela Harding, program assistant, Center for Public Health Preparedness, at 319-335-8451 or

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,