Hospitals, Schools and Building Resilience in Communities

What is hospitals' role in responding to and returning to operation after a natural disaster?

February 10, 2021

Hospitals and schools have formed the foundation of many communities for decades. What is their role, though, in a community’s ability to respond to and recover from a natural disaster and return to operation?

New research from the Colorado State University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has found hospitals and schools are interdependent, suggesting healthcare facility managers need to consider collective recovery in order to restore a community in the wake of disaster, according to Science Daily.

Because hospitals and schools are so integral to a community's well-being, Associate Professor Hussam Mahmoud and Ph.D. graduate student Emad Hassan wanted to determine the correlation between them to understand their overall influence on community recovery following extreme events. They found extensive direct and indirect relationships between healthcare and education, indicating recovery of one system relies on recovery of the other.

In response to the high level of interdependence they uncovered between health care and education systems, Hassan and Mahmoud created a social services stability index so policymakers and community leaders can measure the social services stability within their own communities based on the functionality of hospitals and schools combined.

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