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


At the biennial congress, WADEM regularly recognizes individuals and organizations for their contributions to disaster medicine, prehospital care, and the health aspects of emergency management and complex humanitarian crises.

Peter Safar Award for Services to Prehospital and Disaster Medicine

Dr. Peter Safar passed from this world on 3 August 2003. Dr. Safar was the originator of the CPR sequences that have been responsible for saving the lives of thousands of world citizens. He was the first President of the World Association for Disaster Medicine, previously the Club of the Mainz, and the original editor of its journal, Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, formerly the Journal of the World Association for Emergency and Disaster Medicine.

This award is given to a person considered to have made substantial contributions to the field of disaster and emergency health as determined by the Board of Directors of WADEM. The honor is awarded at each WADEM Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine.

  • In Brisbane, the 2019 recipients were Michel Debacker, Francesco Della Corte, and Herman Delooz
    (collectively known as the 3Ds). The was the first time the Safar Award was given to more than one recipient. Together and as individuals these physicians chartered a new specialty of Disaster Medicine in Europe by forming medical education across the spectrum of first responders and first receivers, forging relationships and collaborations with the WHO, UN, ICRC, MSF, and other international agencies to highlight the essential elements of a proper disaster and humanitarian response; and authoring fundamental textbooks and research publications.
  • At the Toronto Congress, the 2017 Safar Award was presented to Dr. Julie Hall. Dr. Hall was recognized for her work with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and her time with the World Health Organization in the Philippines.
  • Dr. Sam Stratton was the recipient of the 2015 Safar Award in Cape Town, South Africa. Dr. Stratton was recognized for his work as the Editor-in-Chief of Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, as well as his research on the demographics of access to health care at the US-Mexico Border, health care sector capacity in public health disasters, and exploration of research techniques and methods used in public health disaster research.
  • Professor Douglas Chamberlain was presented with the Safar Award in 2013 in Manchester, United Kingdom. Professor Chamberlain was recognized for his contributions to paramedic and resuscitation practice.
  • The 2011 recipient of the Safar Award is Frederick "Skip" Burkle, Jr. The award was presented at the Congress in Beijing, China.
  • Dr. Debarati Guha-Sapir of the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) received the Safar Award in 2009 in Victoria, Canada.

Frederick "Skip" Burkle Jr. Award for Global Leadership in Emergency Public Health

The Frederick "Skip" Burkle Jr. Award for Global Leadership in Emergency Public Health is presented every two years to an individual for distinguished global leadership in advancing the science of emergency public health and improving humanitarian relief efforts. On 30 January 2017, the WADEM Board of Directors named the award in honor of Professor Burkle for his outstanding contributions to Emergency Public Health.

  • The 2019 recipient of the Burkle Award in Brisbane was Dr. Raed Arafat in recognition of his enthusiasm and commitment promoting Emergency Medical Services and education at the prehospital and hospital-level throughout Romania.
  • There were two recipients of the Burkle Award in 2017: Dr. Ian Norton and Dr. Joanne Liu. Dr. Norton was recognized for his role in the development of the WHO Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) Initiative. Dr. Liu received the Burkle award for her leadership of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as its International President and her advocacy for the protection of health care workers in conflict zones.
  • Virginia Murray, FRCP, FFPH, FRCPath was the 2015 recipient of the WADEM Award for Global Leadership in Emergency Public Health. Professor Murray is Public Health England's Consultant in Global Disaster Risk Reduction, Visiting Professor in Health Protection, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Imperial College and King's College, London (2004), and Honorary Professor at University College London (2013). As vice-chair of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) Scientific and Technical Advisory Group she has contributed to the UN Landmark agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, adopted by 187 UN Member States in March 2015. Prior to this, she led and published widely on chemical incidents and extreme event preparedness, response, and recovery. Profesor Murray was presented with the award at the Congress in Cape Town, South Africa on 24 April 2015.
  • Samuel Stratton, MD, MPH was the 2013 recipient. Dr. Stratton is a Professor in the UCLA School of Public Health, a faculty member of the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, Medical Director of the Orange County California Health Care Agency Health Disaster Management / Emergency Medical Services Division, and the current Editor-in-Chief of Prehospital and Disaster Medicine.
  • Dr. Chen Zhu was the 2011 recipient of the Emergency Public Health Award. Dr. Zhu was the Minister of Health of China. The award was presented at the 2011 Congress in Beijing, China.
  • Nan Buzard of the American Red Cross was presented with the WADEM Award for Global Leadership in Emergency Public Health at the Congress in Victoria, Canada in 2009.

WADEM Humanitarian Award for Excellence in Disaster Management

WADEM promotes the worldwide development and improvement of emergency and disaster health and humanitarian relief. Every two years at the biennial Congress, the WADEM Humanitarian Award for Excellence in Disaster Management is presented to an organization involved in disaster relief that has promoted awareness of quality excellence in humanitarian relief efforts, or demonstrated quality achievements of Disaster Response Organizations, or publicized successful quality strategies specifically designed for disaster relief organizations.

  • CRIMEDIM was presented with the WADEM Humanitarian Award in Brisbane in 2019 for its innovative research projects and the development of training programs using state-of-the-art technologies to enhance the resilience of health systems in emergency, disaster, and humanitarian crises. The award was accepted by Luca Ragazzoni on behalf of CRIMEDIM.
  • At the Toronto Congress in 2017, the award was presented to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for its tireless work around the globe providing medical care to those most in need in some of the most austere conditions.
  • The 2013 award was presented to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Manchester, United Kingdom. The award was accepted by Ciro Ugarte on behalf of the organization. PAHO, founded in 1902, is the world's oldest international public health agency. It provides technical cooperation and mobilizes partnerships to improve health and quality of life in the countries of the Americas. PAHO is the specialized health agency of the Inter-American System and serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • The 2011 award was presented to UK-Med at the in Beijing, China. The award was accepted by Dr. Anthony Redmond on behalf of the organization.
  • The Kamedo Reports received the WADEM Humanitarian Award for Excellence in Disaster Management at the Congress in Victoria, Canada in 2009. The award was accepted by Dr. Per Kulling.

President's Award

The President's Award is given to a WADEM member in recognition of outstanding contributions to the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine. The award is presented at the biennial WADEM Congress.

  • In 2017 at the Congress in Toronto, the President's Award was presented to two WADEM members, Jonathan Abrahams and Kristin Ringstad. Jonathan Abrahams received the award for his ongoing efforts to develop the relationship between WADEM and the World Health Organization. Kristin Ringstad was presented with the President's Award for her excellent work developing WADEM's growing social media presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. All three platforms have experienced significant growth under Kristin's leadership.
  • Jerry Overton received the 2015 President's Award at the Congress in Cape Town, South Africa for his role as the WADEM Chief Financial Officer.
  • Dr. Richard Brennan received the 2013 President's Award at the Congress in Manchester, United Kingdom. Dr. Brennan, a long-time WADEM member, was recognized for his efforts to build relationships between WADEM and the World Health Organization
  • Dr. Per Kulling  was presented with the President's Award in Beijing, China in 2011. Dr. Kulling was recognized for his many years of service to WADEM as a member of the Board of Directors and the organization's Chief Financial Officer.
  • Recipients of the President's Awards at the Victoria Congress in 2009 were Andrew BaconJoost BierensClaude de Ville de Goyet, and Andrew Marsden.