Military Medical Humanitarian Assistance Course (MMHAC)

The Military Medical Humanitarian Assistance Course (MMHAC)

The Military Medical Humanitarian Assistance Course (MMHAC) was created with the explicit goal of providing training for military primary care providers in preparing for and executing appropriate medical care to civilian populations in the austere health emergency setting. The content of this two-day course focuses on understanding the unique health environment, and recognizing and managing those conditions consistently associated with high mortality among the most vulnerable populations (primarily children) in these settings: diarrhea and dehydration, malnutrition, epidemic measles, malaria, and respiratory infections. Course scenarios focus on the role that US military medical assets would likely play as early responders to a humanitarian emergency with limited medical resources.

This course was developed by a multidisciplinary faculty assembled from individuals with experience in humanitarian operations and expertise in infectious disease, management of dehydration, malnutrition, preventive medicine and health education. The instructional strategy relies heavily on interactive processes (scenario exercises and case management based skill stations). The scenarios and cases are all derived from real operational experiences of instructors and allow students to problem solve and face ethical dilemmas in triage and develop creative logistical and clinical solutions. In class, instruction parallels this manual which contains complete diagnostic and treatment algorithms for the targeted clinical conditions and has been derived from publications of international public health authorities. The course culminates in a round robin of “skill stations” in which students must demonstrate their ability to manage a field clinical scenario in each major category: Dehydration, Malnutrition, and Infections. In addition, students must complete a comprehensive written exam.

Since the first MMHAC was given in May 1998, military health educators and civilian experts in international health emergencies have critiqued the course. The content and instructional strategy have been uniformly praised. The faculty is committed to the quality and credibility of this educational experience. Thus, all clinical instructors have not only mastered the written material but have had personal experience practicing medicine in an austere health environment.

The MMHAC continues its current affiliation with USUHS through the Center for Global Health Engagement and the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics. Information regarding the course can be obtained by contacting Dr. Robert DeFraites at Robert.DeFraites@usuhs.edu or by contacting local course directors about openings in upcoming courses.

Current Course Directors

Kevin Pieroni
Maj, USAF, MC
Department of Pediatrics
San Antonio Military Medical Center
San Antonio, Texas
kevin.p.pieroni.mil@mail.mil

Robert DeFraites, MD, MPH
COL (Ret), MC, USA
Department of Preventive Medicine
Uniformed Services University
Bethesda, Maryland
Robert.defraites@usuhs.edu

Greg Montalto, MD, MPH
CAPT, MC, USN
Department of Pediatrics
Naval Medical Center San Diego
San Diego, California
gregg.j.montalto.mil@mail.mil

Daniel Adams, MD
Maj, USAF, MC
Department of Pediatrics
Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
Portsmouth, Virginia
daniel.j.adams2.mil@mail.mil

Mark Craig, MD
MAJ, MC, USA
Department of Pediatrics
Madigan Army Medical Center
Takoma, Washington
mark.s.craig10.mil@mail.mil

Mark Burnett, MD
COL, MC, USA
Tripler Army Medical Center
Honolulu, Hi
mark.w.burnett.mil@mail.mil

Michelle Kiger, MD
Capt, USAF, MC
Department of Pediatrics
Wright-Patterson Medical Center
Dayton, Ohio
Michelle.kiger.1@us.af.mil