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For further information, contact the MBL Communications Office at (508) 289-7423 or e-mail us at comm@mbl.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, December 18, 2008
Contact: Diana Kenney, 508-289-7139; dkenney@mbl.edu

Free Falmouth Forum Lecture January 9: Medical Director To Share Wisdom Gained From Healthcare Emergency Response To Hurricane Katrina

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA—If a hurricane or other natural disaster strikes Cape Cod, will local hospitals and health care organizations be prepared to respond effectively?

Firsthand lessons learned from the health-care emergency response to Hurricane Katrina will be shared in a lecture, "In Harm's Way: Lessons Applied to Evacuating Communities Ahead of a Natural Disaster," by James Aiken, M.D., on Friday, January 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Lillie Auditorium, 7 MBL Street, Woods Hole. The lecture, presented by the MBL Associates, is free and open to the public.

Dr. Aiken is associate professor of emergency medicine and public health at Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Science Center, and medical director for emergency preparedness at the Medical Center of Louisiana. For his Falmouth Forum lecture, Dr. Aiken will discuss New Orleans’ metropolitan health-care preparation and response experience during Hurricane Katrina, as well as the city’s response to the 2008 Hurricane Gustav threat using lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina.

During the 2005 Hurricane Katrina response, as liaison officer for the Medical Center of Louisiana Incident Command, Dr. Aiken coordinated hospital patient evacuation with the state Emergency Operations Center and other sources of support. Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Aiken returned to New Orleans to serve on the City of New Orleans Emergency Operations Center Healthcare Support Desk. He later represented LSU on the New Orleans metropolitan task force responsible for strategic planning to rebuild the health-care infrastructure in the region.

Falmouth Forum lectures are free and open to the public. A buffet dinner is available before each lecture at 6:00 p.m. in the Swope Center located near the auditorium. Dinner tickets are $25 and must be purchased in advance at either Eight Cousins Children’s Books, Main Street, Falmouth, or at the MBL’s Communications Office in the Candle House, Water Street, Woods Hole. Dinner seats are limited and tickets are available until they sell out or until 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before the lecture. For more information, contact the MBL Communications Office at: (508) 289-7423 or comm@mbl.edu

The Falmouth Forum will continue through the winter. The remaining lectures in the series are:
  • January 30: “Just Like a Man? John Donne, T.S. Eliot, Bob Dylan, and the Accusation of Misogyny" - Christopher Ricks, Professor of Humanities, Boston University, and award-winning teacher and literary critic
  • February 27: "Music: An Art Form and Industry in Flux" - Stephen Simon, former music director and conductor, Washington D.C. Chamber Symphony; and Bonnie Ward Simon, producer of their classical music CD series for families
  • March 20: "Interpreting Holocaust Survivor Testimonies" - Lawrence Langer, Emeritus Professor of English, Simmons College, Holocaust scholar and award-winning author

All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information and for full lecture descriptions, visit our Falmouth Forum web page.


The MBL is a leading international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere. For more information, visit www.MBL.edu.

The MBL Associates are a group of individuals and businesses that support the scientific mission of the MBL through their gifts to the Annual Fund. The Associates sponsor educational and research programs for the MBL and raise funds for special projects. In addition, they operate the MBL Associates Gift Shop, located on Water Street in Woods Hole, the profits from which support scientific fellowships.