“Our experiences in New Orleans have led us to believe that medical students can and should provide valuable assistance after a disaster. We therefore created a program designed to teach the skills required for such a venture to be successful.”
Founding TEAC Members
In December of 2005, a group of 10 medical students from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM) traveled to New Orleans with a family practice physician to assist in the provision of medical care after Hurricane Katrina. Inspired by their experience in New Orleans, the student group partnered with a 9th Ward medical clinic and returned to New Orleans a year and a half later to provide medical care for those displaced by Katrina. While in New Orleans, they also began to explore how medical students could best prepare and mobilize in the event of a disaster to assist in the provision of medical disaster relief. Through the dedication and insight of these LKSOM medical students and the generous support of The Greenfield Foundation, The Temple Emergency Action Corps (TEAC) was founded.
TEAC is dedicated to mobilizing quickly in the event of an acute local, national, or international disaster. TEAC is also committed to working with local communities affected by more chronic public health challenges, such as homelessness and lack of access to healthcare. In addition to providing medical services, the corps serves to embolden current medical curriculum by reinforcing the cultural competency objective through experiential learning. Through a focus on team service and learning, TEAC fosters a sense of community, building relationships between Temple alumni, students, faculty, and health professionals, along with local, state and national public health systems. These relationships are essential in the training of culturally conscious physicians who are dedicated to service learning
TEAC mobile relief teams have provided medical care, counseling and aid to thousands of people affected by disasters abroad in several Central and South American countries, as well as here in the United States. Additionally, in 2009 TEAC launched TEACH, TEAC’s Homeless Outreach Initiative, dedicated to improving health outcomes for the homeless in Philadelphia. TEAC now serves as a model for other medical schools and health profession groups seeking to find an effective way to respond to disaster. Similarly, we continue to learn and be inspired by the work of many relief organizations dedicated to the provision of medical care in acute and chronic disaster settings. By working together we seek to increase the number of trained responders available to work within regional and national disaster plans.