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J Natl Med Assoc. 2002 February; 94(2): A24, A27-9.
PMCID: PMC2594127

Wake of September 11th attacks: implications for research, policy and practice.

Abstract

The National Consortium for African American Children (NCAAC) held a National Forum on Bioterrorism and Children on November 6, 2001 in Washington, DC. Convened in the wake of the September 11th attacks on New York City and the Pentagon, this unprecedented conference assembled a cross-section of professionals in child advocacy, health, mental health, insurance, economics, law enforcement, and media technology. The ensuing discussion focused on issues surrounding biological agents, their impact on children and youth, and the strategies needed to protect the health and mental health of children and families in the event of a large-scale bioterrorist crisis. Lessons learned as well as the implications of the terrorist acts from the tragic events of September 11th formed the backdrop for engaging dialogue among various industry executives and professionals. Accounts of personal experiences during the unprecedented tragedy of 9-11 were shared and provided a context for heightened preparedness planning for children and adults. A collaborative statement was also presented by NCAAC, the National Medical Association, the Association of Black Psychologists, and the National Black Media Coalition. This forum was hailed as a model for communities of color to join and help bolster broad-based coalition building to ensure the availability of culturally and linguistically appropriate messages, services, and support. As intended, the forum devoted significant attention to the special needs of children, their caregivers and families and provided for an invaluable interchange which is slated to evolve into a national action plan to address the imminent dangers facing our nation's children.

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