Merritt Dean Schreiber

Picture of Merritt Dean Schreiber
Associate Clinical Professor, Emergency Medicine
School of Medicine
Director, Psychological Programs, Emergency Medicine
School of Medicine
Ph.D., Ohio State University, 1982, Clinical-Child Psychology
Phone: (714) 456-3416
University of California, Irvine
Building 200, Suite 710
Mail Code: 4064
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Disaster Mental Health, Management of Acute Psychological Trauma in Children and Adults, Best practices for management of psychological casualities in Emergency Medicine and Trauma Care
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Child Adolescent Psychology, LAC USC Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
Research Abstract
Dr. Merritt Schreiber is Associate Clinical Professor and Director, Psychological Programs in the Center for Disaster Medicine, University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. Dr. Schreiber is involved in the development of best practice models bridging disaster medical, mental and public health in mass casualty events.

Dr. Schreiber has developed the PsySTART Rapid Mental Health Triage and Incident Management System for use in 88 hospitals and 33 community clinics in Los Angeles County and in state wide implementation in Minnesota and nationally with American Red Cross disaster mental health. He is the originator of a novel Psychological First Aid program for children, parents, teachers and family members called “Listen, protect and connect” featured on the US DHS website. Dr. Schreiber is also the primary developer of “Anticipate, Plan and Deter”, a disaster responder resilience system being developed for LA County Emergency Medical personnel and other federal response assets.

Dr Schreiber is currently Mental Health team lead for NDMS/DMAT CA-1, Mental Health Lead, Orange County Chapter and State Disaster Mental Health Advisor for ARC for Southern California. Dr. Schreiber is a member of the California Disaster Mental Health Coalition serving as an expert in children’s issues in disasters. Dr. Schreiber has been the University of California Office of the President representative to the State of California Department of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Office Joint Advisory Committee.

As reserve Captain in the US Public Health Service, Captain Schreiber has served on detached service to the Office of the Command Surgeon, NORAD-USNORTHCOM since 2007. In this role, CAPT Schreiber supports the NORTHCOM SG in the development of force mental health protection and resilience strategies, response to mental health issues in catastrophic medical events for the DoD Defense Support to Civilian Authority mission. CAPT Schreiber represents NORTHCOM SG in the White House Homeland Security Directive 21 Federal Education Training Interagency Working Group designed to promote standardized disaster medical and public health competencies and training across USG. CAPT Schreiber supported the NORAD-USNORTHCOM Command Center and has provided training to USNORTHCOM commands in DSCA disaster mental health including Joint Task Force/CapMed, CCMRF and JTF/Civil Support. CAPT Schreiber received the Joint Service Meritorious Service Medal from US Northern Command in 2009 for these efforts. CAPT Schreiber was activated in support of the CDC Emergency Operations Center in response to the Southeast Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.

Dr Schreiber has developed the first concept of operations (CONOPS) for LA County Department of Mental health, the City of Seattle and King County and the first known National Children’s Disaster Mental Health Concept of Operations with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Terrorism Disaster Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Dr. Schreiber currently serves on the National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine Committee on Crisis Standards of Care.

Dr. Schreiber has received the California Psychological Association Distinguished Humanitarian Contribution Award and a presidential citation from the American Psychological Association for 9/11.

For his federal service, Dr Schreiber received the Crisis Response Award, Outstanding Unit Citation and Special commendation from the US Surgeon General for his response to Hurricane Katrina and development PHS Response team disaster training.
Pfefferbaum RL, Brandt EN Jr, Patel HP, Gurwitch RH, Schreiber MD, Pfefferbaum B. Psychological Issues Associated with Terrorism: a guide for physicians. J Okla State Med Assoc. 2003 Nov;96(11):526-9.

Gurwitch, R., Kees, M., Schreiber, M., Becker, S., Pfefferbaum, B., & Diamond, D. (2004). When Disaster Strikes: Responding to the Needs of Children. Pre-Hospital and Disaster Medicine, 19(1), 21-28.

Weedn, V., McDonald, M., Locke, S., Schreiber, M., Friedman, R., Newell, R., & Temoshok, L. (2004). Managing the Community Response to Bioterrorist Threats. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology, 23(1), 162-170.

Reyes, G., Miller, T., Schreiber, M., & Todd-Bazemore, B., Children’s Services in Disasters and other Emergencies. In Steele, M. & Roberts, M. Handbook of Clinical Child Psychology, second edition. New York: Wiley Interscience.

Thienkrua, W., Lopes Cardozo, B., Somchai Chakkraband, M.L., Guadamuz, T., Pengjuntr, W., Tantipiwatanaskul, P., Sakornsatian, S., Ekassawin, S., Panyayong, B., Varangrat, A., Tappero, J., Schreiber, M. & van Griensven, F. (2006). Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Depression Among Children in Tsunami-Affected Areas in Southern Thailand. Journal of the American Medical Association, 296 (5), 549-559.

Reismann, D., Schreiber M., Klomp, R., Hoover, M., Kowalski-Trakofler, K., & Perez, J. (2006). The Virtual Network Supporting the Front Lines: Addressing Emerging Behavioral Health Problems Following the Tsunami of 2004. Military Medicine, 171(10), 40-43.

Horowitz, L., Schreiber, M., Hare, I., Walker, V., & Talley, A. (Eds.), Psychological Factors in Emergency Medical Services for Children: Abstracts of the Psychological, Behavioral, and Medical Literature, 1991-1998 (1999). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Pynoos, R., Schreiber, M., Steinberg, A., & Pfefferbaum, B. (2004). Impact of Terrorism on Children. In B. Sadock and V. Sadock (Eds.), Kaplan and Sadock’s Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry Eighth Edition (pp. 3551-3564). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams and Witkins.

Schreiber, M. (2005). Learning from 9/11: Toward a National Model for Children and Families in Mass Casualty Terrorism. In Y. Daneli & R. Dingman (Eds.), On the Ground after September 11: Mental Health Responses and Practical Knowledge Gained (pp.605-609). New York: Haworth Press.

Pynoos, R., Steinberg, A., Schreiber, M., Brymer, M. (2006). Children and Families: A New Framework for Preparedness and Response to Danger, Terrorism and Trauma. In L.A. Schein, H.I. Spitz, G.M. Burlingame, P.R. Muskin.(Eds.), Psychological Effects of Catastrophic Disasters: Group Approaches to Treatment (pp.83-112). Binghamton, Haworth Press.

Reissman, D., Schreiber, M.D., Shultz, J.M., Ursano, R.J. Disaster Mental and Behavioral Health. In Disaster Medicine. Edited by KL Koenig & CH Schultz, Cambridge University Press (2009).

Mace,S.,Sharieff, G., Bern, A., Benjamin,L., Burbulys,D., Johnson, R., Schreiber,M. (2010) Pediatric issues in disaster management, Pediatric issues in disaster management, Part 1: The emergency medical system and surge capacity. Am J Disaster Med. May-Jun;5(3):149-61.

Mace, S., Sharieff, G., Bern, A., Benjamin, L., Burbulys,D., Johnson, R., Schreiber, M. (2010) Pediatric issues in disaster management, Part 2: Evacuation centers and family separation/reunification. Am J Disaster Med. 2010 Mar-Apr;5(2):83-93.

Mace,S.,Sharieff, G., Bern, A., Benjamin, L., Burbulys,D., Johnson, R., Schreiber,M. (2010) Pediatric issues in disaster management, Part 3: Special healthcare needs of patients and mental health issues.

King, M., Schreiber, M., Formanski, S., Fleming, S.,Bayleyegn, T.,Lemusu, S. (In press) Surveillance of Traumatic Experiences and Exposures after the Earthquake-Tsunami in American Samoa. Disaster Medicine and Public Health.

Safran, M, Chorba, T., Schreiber, M., Archer, R.,Cookson,S. (2011)Evaluating Mental Health after the 2010 Haitian Earthquake. Disaster Medicine and Public Health.

Schreiber, M., Pfefferbaum, B, Sayegh, L. and Coady, J. (2011) The Way Forward: the National Children’s Disaster Mental Health Concept of Operations. Disaster Medicine and Public Health, in press.


Perez, J., Coady, J., McGuiness, K., Schreiber, M. (2011) Population Based Programs and Health Diplomacy: Approaches of the US Public Health Service. In Ritchie, C., and (Ed) the Textbook of Military Medicine: Combat and Operational Behavioral Health. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Surgeon General, US Army.

Gurwitch, R., Schreiber, M. (2010) Coping with Disaster, Terrorism and Other Trauma. In Koocher, G & LaGreca, A. (Eds). The Parent’s Guide to Psychological First Aid. Boston, MA: Oxford University Press.

Schreiber,M., Shields, S and Hanfling, D. (2011) In Society for Critical Care Medicine(ed) Disaster Planning in the ICU. Chapter 9: Behavioral Health Components. Society for Critical Care Medicine.


Schreiber, M., Koenig, K., Schultz, C., Shields, S. and Bradley, D. (2011) PsySTART Rapid Disaster Mental Health Triage System: Performance During a Full Scale Exercise. Academic Emergency Medicine 18(5) May 2011 s59. Supplement.


Schreiber, M. (2011) The National Children’s Disaster Mental Health Concept of Operations. Terrorism Disaster Center, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Oklahoma City, OK.
Professional Societies
Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
American Psychological Association
Other Experience
CIC Traveling Scholar
University of Michigan 1979—1979
Research Centers
Center for Disaster Medical Sciences
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