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Emilio Mastrodomenico BSP '52 receives the National Disaster Medical System's Leadership Award


Emilio Mastrodomenico BSP '52, of Lancaster Mass. received the National Disaster Medical System's Thomas J. Shepardson Leadership Award during the 2011 Integrated Training Summit on May 3 in Grapevine, Texas.

The award is given annually to a dedicated individual who serves the nation as part of the National Disaster Medical System managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in Washington, D.C. Mastrodomenico received the award for his leadership, vision, service and commitment to the living and the dead, as exemplified by the award's namesake.

He serves as team pharmacist with the Massachusetts-2 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (MA-2 DMAT) based out of Worcester and has been an active member of the MA-2 DMAT since the team's inception in 1988. As a charter member, his service has been instrumental in the growth and development of the MA-2 DMAT.

Mastrodomenico has deployed for every MA-2 DMAT engagement in the past 23 years including the 2010 Haiti deployment and participates in almost all field trainings. Each month the team is on-call for national disasters; Mastrodomenico is one of the first to submit his availability. He also has supported multiple teams who needed a pharmacist for their deployments.

"Mel is a resourceful, creative, and solution-oriented person and he's come up with innovative approaches to patient care during disasters," said MA-2 DMAT Commander Gina Smith. "His organizational and leadership skills help lead to valuable improvements during deployments. He's a conscientious, highly-skilled pharmacist and has done just an amazing job over the years. In NYC, during 9/11, he set up an extremely organized pharmacy in a deli case."

Smith noted that Mastrodomenico also helps teach the patients about their medications, displays a high degree of integrity, responsibility, and ambition, and is an enthusiastic mentor for new pharmacists on the team as well as any assistants.

"Our team and our nation are lucky to have Mel involved in NDMS," she said.

The award is named for the founder of the NDMS Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Teams whose legacy is respectful treatment of the living and the dead in times of natural and man-made disasters. 

We learned about this award from another MCPHS alumni, Erin Mullen BSP '92, who refers to Mel as her mentor. She told us that "she has had the honor of deploying with him several times, including most recently to the Haiti earthquake last year.