AMA offers terror information help

SAN FRANCISCO: The American Medical Association (AMA) used its

yearly interim meeting as a launchpad for a major educational initiative

to inform doctors and patients about the threat of biological and

chemical terrorism.



The week-long meeting was held in San Francisco, and included education

sessions and the unveiling of a PSA that encourages doctors and patients

to visit the AMA website for up-to-date information.



Washington, DC-based production company McCarthy, Hennings and Marcus

developed the PSA, which features AMA president Dr. Richard Corlin. It

is expected to run on local and national networks around the country for

the rest of the year.



"The best antidote to public anxiety is full, accurate information,"

said Corlin during a speech. "Our job is to deliver the information, so

patients and doctors can respond to rapidly changing circumstances."



The AMA also produced a VNR that was fed to news stations around the

country. Mike Lynch, director of media relations for the group, expects

that it was picked up by as many as 150 stations.



The educational sessions at the meeting included a clinical overview of

biological and chemical agents, a session on enhancing disaster

preparedness at the local level, and a discussion of the long-term

medical and health issues that surface in the aftermath of a terrorist

attack.



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