Sheri Fink, a contributor to The Pulse of Humanitarian Assistance, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting for her piece “Deadly Choices at Memorial,” a gripping piece about Memorial Medical Center, a hospital in New Orleans that was cut off from the city by flood waters during Hurricane Katrina. The piece focuses on the ethical and legal issues medical professionals were faced with during the devastating natural disaster. Hundreds of patients died, leading to a national investigation and a campaign to enforce clearer laws for medical personnel during these types of catastrophes. The piece, written over two years and using interviews with about 140 sources, was finally published in the New York Times Magazine on the fourth anniversary of Katrina, in 2009. The article had immediate ramifications for New Orleans and the medical community as a whole.
The Pulse of Humanitarian Assistance, edited by Dr. Kevin Cahill, is a collection of essays focusing on the very same issues, examining international humanitarian efforts, especially following wars and natural disasters.
Dr. Cahill, the director of Fordham’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs and president of the Center for International Health and Cooperation, has a new book called Even in Chaos: Education in Times of Emergency , published by Fordham and available in May. Even in Chaos takes an intimate and personal look at students, aid workers, and national leaders as they struggle to provide and obtain the basic right to education following catastrophe.
Congratulations, Dr. Fink!