The Halifax Disaster & the Boston Common Christmas Tree
The story of the Halifax Disaster and the Boston Common Christmas Tree is known to many and much has been written about the disaster response from physicians and politicians. After almost 100 years this story of war, international terrorist fears, devastating urban disasters, unprecedented international relief response, and maritime responsibility has much to teach us about contemporary debates. But it is also a story of who responds across boundaries and why; how we see ourselves and others in times of disaster; and how women and nurses are critical but often invisible actors in any disaster response story. Dr. Deb Sampson tells this story with a focus on the courage, compassion, and determination of the New England nurses who boarded a train to travel into the unknown of one of the worst urban explosion disasters of the 20th Century and the gratitude of a city in Canada; gratitude that to this day is commemorated by the Christmas tree on Boston Common. Dr. Sampson earned a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania where she was a National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Fellow. Her research focuses on place, culture, health policy and professional gendered boundaries. She has research, teaching, practice, and consulting experience in Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia and has had faculty and administrative appointments at several universities, where she taught across programs, including Yale, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania. She was a Senior Consultant at the Health Resources Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services and is also former trauma and ICU nurse, currently practicing occupational medicine nurse practitioner and health care administrator. Free and open to all.