Improving global prehospital and emergency medicine, public health, and disaster health care and preparedness

Association Overview

Mission & Vision

The mission of WADEM is the evidence-based improvement, education, and advocacy of emergency and disaster health care and disaster risk reduction.

WADEM will be internationally recognized as the leading organization in the development, evaluation, and dissemination of scientific evidence and best practices in emergency and disaster health care and disaster risk reduction.


WADEM was originally founded as the Club of Mainz on 2 October 1976 with the goal of improving the worldwide delivery of prehospital and emergency care during everyday and mass disaster emergencies. The founding members were renowned researchers, practitioners and teachers of acute care medicine, who joined together to focus their energies on the scientific, educational, and clinical aspects of immediate care. Following the constant development of its scope and extension worldwide, and to better reflect its nature, the organization’s name was changed to the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine.

WADEM is the oldest international emergency and disaster medicine organization with members from 55 countries and numerous disciplines including medicine, nursing, emergency management, academia, military, veterinary medicine, psychology and sociology as well as government and non-government organizations.

Focus on Scientific Evidence and Best Practices

WADEM’s focus on scientific evidence and best practices in prehospital and emergency health care, public health, and disaster health and preparedness is implemented through:

  • Bi-monthly publication of Prehospital and Disaster Medicine;
  • A biennial international Congress featuring keynote speakers, panels, presentations, and workshops addressing cutting edge topics, information, and methods;
  • The promotion of published Research Frameworks to enhance the scientific basis and value of disaster research;
  • Educational workshops on disaster research using the Frameworks for Research and Evaluation of the Health Aspects of Disasters;
  • Webinars on Mass Gatherings, Emergency Medical Responses, and other pertinent topics; and
  • Collaborative work with the UNDDR in addressing disaster risk reduction efforts.

Development of New Leaders

WADEM is committed to developing new leaders in the field of emergency and disaster health. To this end,

  • WADEM successfully launched its pilot Student Mentorship Program in which 10 students from 9 countries/regions worked with individual WADEM members on a specific study project and presented their findings at the WADEM international Congress in Cape Town. Students were also provided the opportunity to serve as Co-Chairs at the Congress; and
  • Student membership rates and Congress registration fees are substantially discounted and, when funds are available, students have received complimentary registration.

Interational Linkages

WADEM maintains an international presence through collaborations and affiliations with other professional organizations, academic institutions, and the World Health Organization, where its leaders regularly represent WADEM and its membership in pertinent discussions.

  • WADEM leaders participated in the development of the Sendai Framework, and continue to work on addressing some of the target issues; and
  • The WADEM Nursing Section has been invited to perform a review of the International Council of Nurses Disaster Competencies.
  • Through social media and its updated website, the WADEM provides current, relevant information to its members on ongoing opportunities and situations throughout the world.

Organizational Structure

WADEM is a member-based professional association. Each individual member pays annual membership dues. The amount of the annual dues is based on the member’s annual income. The members elect the Board of Directors and President prior to the biennial Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine through an online election.

Board members serve for two-year terms, with a maximum of three consecutive terms. The Board of Directors, in turn, elects its Officers (Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Secretary) appoints the Editor-in-Chief of Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. The Journal Editor is not subject to term limits, nor is the Editor-in-Chief required to be a Director.

All Officers/Directors must be members of WADEM in good standing. A more detailed description of WADEM's organizational structure and goals are described in the association bylaws and current strategic plan below.

📥 Association Bylaws

📥 Strategic Plan