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


Mission & Vision

Mission: The proposed mission of the Nursing SIG of WADEM is to foster collaboration among nurses involved in research, education, management, and practice in prehospital, emergency, public health, and/or disaster health care.

Vision: The Nursing SIG strives to be the organizational vehicle welcoming and representing nurses from all countries with an intent and desire to strengthen and improve the practice and knowledge of disaster nursing.


The objectives of the Nursing SIG of WADEM are to:

  • Define nursing issues for public health care and disaster health care;
  • Exchange scientific and professional information relevant to the practice of disaster nursing;
  • Encourage collaborative efforts enhancing and expanding the field of nursing disaster research;
  • Encourage collaboration with other nursing organizations;
  • Inform and advise WADEM of matters related to disaster nursing.


Odeda Benin-Goren, PhD, RN, CEN,

Odeda Benin-Goren is a Registered Nurse Certified in Emergency Nursing (CEN). She also holds a PhD and has broad experience as a clinical nurse in the fields of Internal Medicine, Public Health, and Emergency Medicine. Odeda was among the pioneers that established the national Emergency Nursing Course for nurses to become CEN. As a CEN, she specializes in all types of Emergencies, including Mass Casualty Incidents (MCIs) in Israel.

During the last decade, she specialized in the area of Disaster and Humanitarian Response and works with government ministries and agencies worldwide. In addition to her fieldwork, Odeda is also the Academic Coordinator of the Emergency Management Course at PREPARED: The Emergency Response Center at Ben-Gurion University.

Odeda is a United Nation Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) member under the UN-Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affair (OCHA). She is also a consultant for the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of International Cooperation (MASHAV) at the Israeli Ministry of Froing Affair (MFA), in the areas of Emergency Medicine/Nursing, Trauma, Intensive Care, Disaster Preparedness, and Risk Assessment.

Mayumi Kako, PhD
Chair ElectJapan

Prof. Kako works as an Associate Professor at the School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Division of Nursing Science (International Disaster Nursing), Hiroshima University, Japan. She received her first nursing qualification from Kobe City College of Nursing in Japan. After working at several departments in Nishi Kobe Medical Centre in Kobe, Prof. Kako obtained her postgraduate qualifications from Flinders University, Australia.

While teaching and researching, she revisited her volunteer experience after the 1995 Hanshin Awaji Earthquake in Kobe and developed her research interest in disaster health and nursing. She is especially interested in answering the question of "How can We Create a Resilient Society with an Aging Population?" Mayumi worked at WHO Kobe Centre in 2014-15 to support preparing the public forums held at the Third UN World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Her current research has been focused on the best practices of evacuation center management, as well as the health status (including psychosocial aspects) of seniors who are in transition from temporary to permanent housing in a community. She is also a member of the Disaster Resilience Centre, a course program associate for the Phoenix Leader Program at Hiroshima University.

Gary Glauberman, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC, NHDP-BC
MembershipUnited States

Dr. Gary Glauberman is an Associate Professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. He serves as the director of the UHM Nursing's Advanced Population Health Nursing program. He is certified in advanced public health nursing and has clinical practice experience in occupational health.

His areas of expertise include community/public health nursing, disaster nursing, and global health. He is a volunteer for the American Red Cross and the Medical Reserve Corps. Dr. Glauberman's research focus is on community disaster preparedness. His recent research projects have focused on emergency preparedness among residential high-rise building occupants.

Odeya Cohen, RN, MEM, PhD

Dr. Odeya Cohen is the Head of the Master's Program in Emergency Medicine, School of Public Health and a Lecturer in the Nursing Department, Faculty of Health Sciences both at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. Her expertise is in the field of emergency preparedness and response, disaster nursing, community resilience, and research methods.

She has collaborated with international experts in order to reveal factors that may assist individuals, communities, and organizations to better cope with crises. In addition, she focuses on the involvement of advanced methods in educational projects to increase efficiency and capacity building.

Valerie Rzepka, NP-PHC, BScN, MSc, DLSHTM

Valerie Rzepka is a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner, Executive Director, and co-founder of Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT), a grassroots emergency medical response organization that provides medical aid in the wake of major global disasters.

In nearly 15 years of responding to disasters, Valerie has coordinated, supervised and deployed to medical projects in Thailand, Pakistan, China, Haiti, Chile, Japan, and the Philippines. Most recently, she oversaw CMAT’s immediate rapid assessment and coordinated the overall response to the 2015 Nepal earthquake. As a result of her collaboration in United Nations-led emergency responses, Valerie has consulted for the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, DC, and World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland as a subject-matter expert in Emergency Medical Response in the Emergency Medical Teams initiative.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Ryerson University in Toronto, and her Master of Science in Health Policy jointly from the London School of Economics and diploma from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom. She completed the Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner program at Laurentian University in 2013.

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Karin Hugelius, PhD, RN, RNA, AN

Karin Hugelius is a nurse (RN), nurse anesthesia (RNA) and ambulance nurse (AN) from Sweden. She has broad clinical experience from working in anesthesia and prehospital emergency care, as well as from disasters. During the last fifteen years, she has been deployed as a nurse, medical coordinator, and crises management expert or head of missions for several UN agencies, European Union and Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB).

She has been deployed to about twenty conflict or disaster areas around the world, including Thailand, Haiti, Sudan, Congo, Kenya, Guatemala, and the Philippines. Those experiences caught her interest in research about disasters and disaster response, and in 2017, Karin earned a PhD in disaster medicine. Today, Karin works as a senior lecturer at Orebro University (SE), teaching and conducting research within disaster management and disaster nursing with a focus on needs assessment, psychosocial response, the wellbeing of responders, and consular crises management. Additionally, she works clinically as an ambulance nurse.