Research and Grants

Disaster Training Curriculum (DITAC)

James James and Philipp Fischer

James James and Philipp Fischer

The DITAC project, funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme in January 2012, aims to develop a standardized, comprehensive disaster training curriculum for first responders and strategic crisis managers with a focus on international crisis management across the EU. The DITAC project is a collaborative effort coordinated by lead investigator, Philipp Fischer, MD, at the University Clinic of Bonn. The collaboration includes the Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (SDMPH) with James James, MD, Executive Director of the SDMPH representing the United States on the DITAC Scientific Advisory Board.

For more information about DITAC, visit

For the latest DITAC newsletter, go to





Transparent communication in Epidemics: Learning Lessons from experience, delivering effective Messages, providing Evidence (TELL ME)

Dr. James at TellMe kick off

Dr. James at TellMe kick off

TELL ME is a 36-month collaborative project with the goal to provide evidence and develop models and tools for improved risk communications during infectious disease crises. By combining public health, social sciences, behavioral sciences, political sciences, law, ethics, communication and media, the TELL ME project aims to advance new and effective communication strategies to more effectively deal with risk communications during infectious disease epidemics and pandemics. The main outcomes of the TELL ME project will be an Integrated Communication Kit for Outbreak Communication and simulation software to assess alternative communication strategies. The TELL ME project is co-funded by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme.

The National Disaster Life Support Foundation, Inc. (NDLSF™) is one of 12 members of the TELL ME Consortium, and will coordinate opportunities for the SDMPH to participate within their remaining TELL ME project work package deliverables.  Dr. James, Executive Director of SDMPH, is also a Board Member of the NDLSF, and is directing these efforts.

For more information on the TELL ME project visit

Ongoing grant proposals are proceeding from SDMPH:  $5.7 million proposal to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)  

“Use of Global Health Security Cards (GHSC) in the Pre-Hospital Setting to Enhance Shared Decision-Making and Reduce Cost of Care” is a collaboration between SDMPH, the University of Georgia, and local Atlanta EMS and hospital stakeholders to design and implement a payment structure to deliver quality medical care by EMS providers using the GHSC.   Dr. Cham Dallas, Professor and Director of the University of Georgia Institute for Disaster Management on this project, is also Vice President for Business Development for SDMPH.  This research proposal seeks to address the growing and disturbing trend where the amount of money paid out by CMS for ambulance transports nearly doubled from 2002 (approximately $3 billion) to 2011 (approximately $5.3 billion), with CMS also paying more than a quarter of a billion dollars in improper payments.   If funded, an economic evaluation of cost savings for CMS will be conducted for appropriately managed decision making and financial renumeration that is actively instituted by specially trained EMS providers in a selected Atlanta test region in 2014-2017, centering on the use of the GHSC.