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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Scott Needle, M.D.

National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters Board Member

Dr. Scott Needle is a board-certified pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  In February 2004 he opened his solo private practice in the town of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.  Eighteen months later his office and home were nearly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.  He returned to the area one month later to resume practice.  His personal and professional experiences during recovery led to national attention regarding children’s health issues, pediatric private practice, disaster preparedness, and health problems related to FEMA trailers in the aftermath of Katrina.  He has served on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council since its inception in 2007.  After Katrina he developed “A Disaster Preparedness Plan for Pediatricians,” which was developed as an interactive online tool for the AAP’s Pediatric Management Online website. His article, “Private Practice After Hurricane Katrina: A Proposal for Recovery,” was published in the October 2008 issue of Pediatrics, followed by "The Art of the Possible: Looking Back and Ahead Five Years After Landfall" in the August 2011 Supplement to Pediatrics. Photograph of Scott Needle, M.D., Chief Medical Officer Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida

In April 2011 he represented Florida at the AAP-CDC meeting "Enhancing Pediatric Partnerships to Promote Pandemic Preparedness," and was co-author on the related commentary, "Improving Pediatric Preparedness Performance Through Strategic Partnerships" (published June 2012 in Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness).  Since 2012 he has consulted for the AAP Pennsylvania Chapter on the Philadelphia-area Community Preparedness Project, bringing primary care pediatricians and health departments together for disaster preparedness, response, and communications.  In recent years he has had the privilege to attend numerous national conferences and workshops to advocate for children and children’s health care in the setting of disaster, covering topics as diverse as pandemic influenza preparedness, treatment guidelines for anthrax exposure, bystander response in emergencies, and economic issues affecting office preparedness.  He is the lead author for the upcoming AAP Policy Statement on "Ensuring the Health of Children in Disaster," and has a special interest in integrating pediatric office-based providers into community and healthcare response and recovery.


Dr. Needle is currently a primary care pediatrician and Chief Medical Officer for the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, a community health center in Naples, Florida, as well as a Regional Representative and Disaster Coordinator for the Florida Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics.  He also represents the Florida Chapter AAP on the Florida Children's Preparedness Coalition.  Dr. Needle is a member of the clinical faculty of the Florida State University College of Medicine.  He received his M.D. degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore and completed pediatric internship and residency at New England Medical Center/Tufts University in Boston.

National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters (NACCD)

  • This page last reviewed: September 23, 2014