February 5, 2010

New service helps ensure safety of VU personnel traveling abroad

New service helps ensure safety of VU personnel traveling abroad

Vanderbilt University recently contracted the services of International SOS (ISOS), a leading provider of medical assistance and international health care and security services to help ensure the safety of its faculty, staff and students while traveling abroad.

“Every year the number of faculty, staff and students traveling overseas grows,” said Dawn Turton, executive director of Vanderbilt's International Office. “We have always had protocols in place to ensure the safety of our faculty, staff and students overseas, but International SOS provides a way for the University to consolidate resources to more effectively manage situations in the event of a crisis or emergency.”

“This coordination of services is invaluable. In the last couple of years, not only has the number of locations that our faculty, staff and students have traveled to grown, but the locales have become more diverse,” Turton said.

ISOS services range from consultation and planning to 24-hour medical and security assistance, which includes emergency medical and security evacuations in case of critical illness, accident or civil unrest.

With a worldwide network of 26 alarm centers, 29 clinics and a fleet of air ambulances operating in more than 70 countries, the organization employs more than 50,000 credentialed medical, legal and security providers to assist international travelers.

The service is free to those on University-authorized trips, but will also be made available at discounted rates for personal use.

The online program is expected to be available in early February. The computerized service will streamline the overseas travel process and eventually take the place of the traditional paper documentation, allowing for convenient access to a traveler's whereabouts. Under the ISOS program, members will also be provided a customized briefing based on their travel destination.

Travelers should register their plans on the portal created on the International Office Web site. To register online, go to http://www.vanderbilt.edu/vio.