Following the disastrous tornado that struck Joplin on May 22, MOPA received calls asking if we had a Disaster Response Team. While at one point, there was a Chair of our Disaster Response Committee, we had no formal active Chair or members of the committee to heed the call when disaster struck. At our last Board meeting this became a priority so that we could be better equipped to handle such a situation if it arose again. I am pleased to announce that we now have a Chair of our Disaster Response Committee in Craig Shifrin, Psy.D. We also have 3 other active MOPA members volunteer their time to the committee that bring to the table extensive experience and training in disaster response (Amongst the members they have developed programs for the UN, received Community Response Team [CERT] training, developed Red Cross training programs, served on local disaster relief committees, responded to Hurricane Katrina, certified by the International Critical Incident Response Stress Foundation in Basic Critical Incident Stress Management, and completed an advanced course in Psychotraumatology for Clinicians). Some impressive credentials indeed.
It never ceases to amaze me that MOPA has such a wealth of talent in our membership. This is only outweighed by the amount of generosity of our members in volunteering their time and talents despite busy professional and personal lives. Thank you all so much for giving yourselves to this cause and for choosing to help your fellow Missourians in their time of need. Kudos to Craig and the other committee members for stepping up to serve!