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Trauma expert addresses resilience after Sandy, Oklahoma tornado, at ARMC’s 15th Annual Trauma Symposium

Media Contact: Jennifer Tornetta, 609-569-7010,

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For Immediate Release:  May 24, 2013

Donald Meichenbaum, PhD, author of Roadmap to Resilience, A Guide for Military, Trauma Victims and their Families, discussed resilience after trauma Wednesday at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s 15th Annual Trauma Symposium at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino. “PTSD and acute stress responses can stem from all kinds of disaster - natural, traumatic accidents, terrorism, rape,” he said, two days after a tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, adding, “Normal response to trauma is resilience – in the long run, roughly 70 percent of victims will bounce back. Acute stress and resilience can coexist,” said the research director, Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment, who has 40 years of experience working with trauma victims during his presentation, Ways to Bolster Resilience in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters.

“Normal immediate response to trauma is acute stress, which is not an accurate predictor of PTSD,” Meichenbaum told attendees during general session for the more than 550 healthcare professionals and volunteers who attended the symposium. “Response at six to nine months is a better predictor of PTSD. Usually response teams have left. Help must exist long enough to accurately assess victims’ response over time.”

“Each year attendees ranging from physicians to nurses to emergency medical services professionals and other healthcare providers attend the symposium to earn educational credits and learn about the latest information in care of trauma patients,” said Peter Thompson, MD, ARMC Trauma surgeon. “Dr. Meichenbaum had planned to discuss resilience after Super Storm Sandy and other traumatic events. It was serendipitous that he was addressing this topic days after the tragic news of the disaster in Oklahoma.”

Donald Meichenbaum PhD discusses resilience after natural disaster Donald Meichenbaum, PhD, addresses attendees of AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s 15th Annual Trauma Symposium at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino. 

ARMC Trauma Symposium attendees listen to Donald Meichenbaum PhD 

AtlantiCare is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,461 employees and 600 physicians serve the community in more than 60 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008.

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