My commitment to community service is an active one and is a direct result of my own childhood upbringing where service to others was a hallmark family value.
In addition to four years of military service, I have also served as a Crisis Intervention Specialist and Disaster Mental Health Specialist for dozens of organizations such as the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Jewish Family Services, the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, United Nations Peacekeeping Forces, FEMA, the Department of Defense, and the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office Department of Homeland Safety and Security, Crisis Response Team.
In the Disaster Mental Health speciality, there have been many incidents I have volunteered and worked on-scene for dozens of national Level 5 disasters, including several major earthquakes; incidents at NASA; working directly on The Pile at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks; the EF-5 tornado in Joplin, MO in 2011; the mass casualty shooting in Las Vegas in 2017; and during the current pandemic for various healthcare entities.
So many of our nurses, doctors, and clinical support staff are under enormous pressure right now. They are experiencing some of the greatest challenges of their lives – trying to save lives in a Covid world. All of this is having an impact on them – personally and professionally.
About 25 years ago, I was approached and contracted by the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to establish, train, co-lead, and supervise a Critical Incident Response Team with the primary goal of providing crisis intervention services for the medical staff. I served in that capacity spanning three decades. Since the pandemic, I now continue to provide pro bono crisis intervention to these wonderful frontline healthcare providers.
They are among my favorite real-world heroes and it continues to be an honor to support them in their efforts to treat those who have been and continue to be impacted by Covid-19.