Montray Smith, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, has been selected to the Beth Israel Deaconess Disaster Nursing Fellowship (Harvard Initiatives). The one-year fellowship in Boston will begin this summer. UofL News reached out to Smith for more information about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Q: Explain what you’ll be learning and the type of research you’ll be involved in during the fellowship.
A: This is one of the only fellowships in the United States related to disaster nursing.
The curriculum includes features of disaster nursing and emergency medicine, and fellows have the opportunity to participate in some of the world’s largest mass casualty exercises while learning from both national and international disaster planning experts.
I’ll get to complete fieldwork-related research resulting in a thesis or publication, and also participate in lectures, seminars, readings on disaster medicine and emergency medicine.
After completing the fellowship, I look forward to be even better equipped to take on leadership positions in the areas of disaster nursing and emergency medicine.
Q: Talk about how this opportunity will advance your future goals.
A: This opportunity allows me to gain valuable knowledge and develop an expertise. My future goals are to use the fellowship content to expand my research topic, continue teaching, and serve in disaster management/disaster relief on local, state, national and international levels.
Q: Briefly describe your work and expertise related to disaster nursing.
A: I have been a nurse for several years with experience in disaster relief, disaster preparedness and humanitarian services. I am a former member of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) that responds to national disaster events, and provides hands-on care to anyone in need of health care services.
I teach in our undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, and my students have opportunities to work with local community agencies like the American Red Cross and the local health care systems on various disaster management projects. I also am a UofL PhD nursing student, and my research focus is on disaster management/disaster relief in vulnerable populations targeting families with children with neurodevelopmental related disabilities, refugees and low socioeconomic groups.
Q: Other thoughts?
A: It is a great honor to have been selected for this excellent fellowship. I will be able to use the knowledge gained to advance disaster research and continue preparing nursing students for current and future disasters.