In the wake of recent disasters happening around the world such as earthquake in Italy (January, 2017); hurricanes in the United States (US) (September 2016 and September 2017); and compounding disasters in Haiti (September 2010 and September 2016); to our best knowledge, never has the world seen the need to work on preemptive rather than reactionary measures to salvage this situation than now. Tornadoes are natural hazards that mostly affect mid-western and central states in the US. Tornadoes, like all natural hazards such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and others, are very destructive and result in massive destruction to homes, cause billions of dollars in damage and claims many lives. Healthcare facilities in general are vulnerable to disasters, and therefore, the safety of patients, health workers and those who come in to seek shelter should be a priority. The focus of this study is to assess disaster management measures instituted by healthcare facilities. Thus, the sole aim of the study is to examine the vulnerabilities and the design of safe spaces in healthcare facilities in Central US. Objectives that guide the study are to primarily identify the impacts of tornadoes in hospitals and to assess the structural design or specifications of safe spaces. St. John’s Regional Medical Center, now Mercy Hospital in Joplin, is used as a case study. Preliminary results show that the lateral base shear of the proposed design to be 684.24 ton (1508.49kip) for the safe space. Findings from this work will be used to make recommendations about the design of safe spaces for health care facilities in Central US.
Given the dynamic nature of the higher education landscape, induction programmes for new academics has become the norm nowadays to support academics negotiate these rough terrain. This study investigates an induction programme for new academics in a higher education institution to establish what difference it has made to participants. The findings revealed that the benefits ranged from creating safe spaces for collaboration and networking to fostering reflective practice and contributing to the scholarship of teaching and learning. The study also revealed that some of the intentions of the programme may not have been achieved, for example transformative learning. This led to questioning whether this intention is an appropriate one given the short duration of the programme and the long, drawn out process of transformation. It may be concluded that the academic induction programme in this study serves to sow the seeds for transformative learning through fostering critically reflective practice. Recommendations for further study could include long term impact of the programme on student learning and success, these being the core business of higher education. It is also recommended that in addition to an induction programme, the university invests in a mentoring programme for new staff and extend the support for academics in order to sustain critical reflection and which may contribute to transformative educational practice.