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David M. Abramson

Assistant Professor at Columbia University Medical Center of Sociomedical Sciences(In Earth Institute)

Deputy Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness

As Deputy Director and Director of Research at Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Earth Institute, Dr. Abramson’s areas of study include disaster recovery and resiliency, the social ecology of vulnerability, risk communication targeted at high-risk or elusive communities, and survey research on preparedness attitudes and behaviors. He is the principal investigator of the longitudinal Gulf Coast Child & Family Health Study, an examination of need and recovery among 1,000+ randomly sampled displaced and impacted families in Louisiana and Mississippi (2006-2010), and is Co-Investigator of an NIH study of the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on children’s health. Additionally, Dr. Abramson is leading a foundation-funded effort to identify pediatric need along the Gulf Coast coupled with a youth empowerment intervention project in five Gulf Coast high schools. Other current or recent disaster-related research activities include studies of how US cities recover from disasters, evolving trends in disaster philanthropy, the public health response to Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, and a FEMA-funded “community tabletop” that focused on how well school systems can prepare for disasters. From 2007 – 2010, Dr. Abramson served as an Associate Editor of the AMA peer-reviewed journal, Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness.

Prior to entering the field of public health in 1990, Dr. Abramson worked for a decade as a national magazine journalist, having written for Rolling Stone, Esquire, Outside, and the San Francisco Examiner, among other publications. A former paramedic, Abramson holds a doctorate in sociomedical sciences with a specialization in political science, and a master of public health degree, both from Columbia University.
Education & Training:

    PhD, 2005, Columbia University

    MPH, 1992, Columbia University

    BA, 1981, Queens College, CUNY

Selected Editorial Boards:
  • Associate Editor, Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Selected Publications:
  • Abramson, DM, Park, YS, Stehling-Ariza, T, and Redlener, . Children as Bellwethers of Recovery: Dysfunctional Systems and the Effects of Parents, Households, and Neighborhoods on Serious Emotional Disturbance in Children After Hurricane Katrina. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness 4: S17-S27, 2010
  • Abramson, DM, Stehling-Ariza, T., Park, Y.S., Walsh, L. and Culp, D. (2010). Measuring Individual Disaster Recovery: A Socioecological Framework. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness 4: S46-S54
  • Stehling-Ariza T, YS Park, JJ Sury, D Abramson. Measuring the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Access to a Personal Healthcare Provider: The Use of the National Survey of Children’s Health for an External Comparison Group. Journal of Maternal and Child Health. 16:S170-S177, 2012.
  • Abramson, D, Stehling-Ariza, T, Garfield, R, Redlener, I The Prevalence and Predictors of Mental Health Distress Post-Katrina: Findings from the Gulf Coast Child and Family Health Study Disaster Medicine & Public Health Preparedness 2 (2) 77-86 2008
  • Abramson, D, Morse S, Garrett A, Redlener, I Public Health Disaster Research: Surveying the field, defining its future Disaster Medicine & Public Health Preparedness 1 (1) 57-62 2007
  • Garrett, A, Grant, R, Madrid, P, Brito, A, Abramson, D, Redlener, I Children and Megadisasters – Lessons Learned in the New Millennium Advances in Pediatrics 54 184-219 2007
  • Messeri, P, Abramson, D, Aidala, A, Lee, F, Lee, G The Impact of Ancillary HIV Services on Engagement in Medical Care in New York City AIDS Care 14 (Supp1) S15-S30 2002
  • MA Stoto, DA Almario, and MC McCormick Reducing the Odds: Preventing Perinatal Transmission of HIV in the United States National Academy Press (Institute of Medicine) Washington DC 1999
  • Abramson, D, Garfield, R Columbia U National Center for Disaster Preparedness The Children's Health Fund 2006
  • Abramson, D, Garfield, R, Redlener, I Columbia U National Center for Disaster Preparedness The Children's Health Fund 2007

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