The Center for Disaster Mental Health was initially developed by volunteers from a number of agencies across West Central Ohio. The first meeting was held on 13 July 2012 and had representatives from the Dayton VA Medical Center, Hospice of Dayton, United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, Wright State University College of Nursing and Health, Wright State University School of Professional Psychology, and the Wright State University National Center for Medical Readiness. Among these representatives there was considerable enthusiasm for developing an organization which would help train mental health providers and create collaborative networks of providers to deal with the mental health consequences of disasters.
The first major activity was a regional symposium provided in November 2013. Keynote addresses featured Larry James, PhD, Colonel, USA (Retired) addressing “The Mental Health Response at the Pentagon, September 11, 2001” and continued with Christina Hernon, MD, a first responder in the Boston Bombing, with her talk on “The Boston Marathon Experience – A Personal Perspective”. This set the stage for an annual CDMH Symposium.
The initial volunteer Co-Chairs, Dan Kirkpatrick, MSN, RN, and Randy Welton, M.D., developed administrative plans and worked on integrating CDMH in the readiness structure of West Central Ohio, and formed a community partnership with the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association. In 2014, Mark A. Curtis, MSN, CNS, BC, ACHPN, LMT, took over as Co-Chair, and together with Dr Welton, conducted a successful second CDMH Symposium, and completed a year long research project planning for palliative care in mass casualty events.
Dr Mark E Hubner, Colonel, United States Air Force, joined CDMH in 2015 and stepped in as Co-Chair with Mark Curtis. Mark and Mark guided CDMH through their 2015 goals of ever expanding community involvement, increasing collaboration on emergency response plans, and completing the 3rd Annual Mental Health Symposium hosting 82 participants. CDMH is now a participating member on several regional planning committees and have helped update mental health portions of regional plans.
In 2016, CDMH completed a successful 4th annual conference. To start 2017, Karon Wolfe, MSSW, LISW-S from the Dayton VA Medical Center has joined Ken Johnson, Deputy Director of Clark County Emergency Management Agency, as Co-Chairs of CDMH. Plans are underway to assist community partners with local issues, and CDMH has successfully conducted their 5th annual conference in October 2017.
Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association
Center for Disaster Mental Health
241 Taylor Street, Suite 130
Dayton OH 45402
GDAHA Office: 937-228-1000