Compassionate Response
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In September 2001, a number of professionals volunteered their time and expertise in response to the emotional and traumatic suffering brought about by the tragedy on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center in New York. One of these individuals, Dr. Betsee Parker, initiated a program of emotional, psychological and spiritual support to the clinical staff and field workers at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner where the remains of those lost were brought for identification. She was joined by Dr. Charles Flood who founded one of the first counseling programs in the acute care setting revolving around issues of sudden death and traumatic loss. He has continued this work with over thirty years of experience in direct care, training and teaching.

Both Dr. Parker and Dr. Flood continued this work at the Medical Examiner’s Office as focus shifted to responding to the needs of the family survivors awaiting identification of the remains. This program continues in New York and now includes a cadre of trained professionals who provide a primary contact with the family members. Dr. Flood continues to supervise the program and gives direct support to family survivors and the staff at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

When the tsunami of December 2004 occurred, it was felt that intervention addressing the trauma of sudden death and loss should be provided to the survivors. It was also felt that the cause of world peace and understanding would be well served through those who helped alleviate the suffering of September 11, 2001 responding to the emotional and other needs of those devastated by the tsunami.

Subsequently, Dr. Charles Flood, traveled to Sri Lanka and provided direct support to the survivors while he completed an assessment of future needs. Another mission was undertaken by Dr. Flood with a team of professional counselors and continues with an ongoing mission to Sri Lanka and other sites in Asia facing the effects of tsunami, earthquakes and other disasters.

An archive of journals of the 2005 Sri Lanka missions can be found here.