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    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    Healthcare Relief: The Department of Health and Human Services is setting up health shelters for hurrican victims:

    Working with its federal partners, HHS is helping provide and staff 250 beds in each shelter for a total of 10,000 beds for the region. Ten of these facilities will be staged within the next 72 hours and another 10 will be deployed within the next 100 hours after that. In addition, HHS is deploying up to 4,000 medically-qualified personnel to staff these facilities and to meet other health care needs in this region.

    Already, HHS has helped set up a medical shelter with up to 250 beds at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge to help provide health care for those fleeing New Orleans in Katrina’s wake. As of late this morning, the facility had already screened 300 patients and admitting 45 for in-patient care.

    HHS and its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also are providing the region with public health personnel and expertise to address the potential for disease outbreak in the aftermath of Katrina.

    “We’re delivering medical supplies, facilities and professionals into the Gulf Region to provide health care to those evacuating from New Orleans as well as victims of the hurricane throughout the region,” Secretary Leavitt said. “We’re focused on the immediate health care needs of people in the region, augmenting state and local efforts. And we’re also preparing for public health challenges that may emerge such as disease and contamination.

    They're also asking hospitals nationwide to send supplies and volunteers. From an e-mail alert:

    In a conference call yesterday, Mike Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services, asked the nation's hospitals for their help. HHS is setting up 40 250-cot medically enhanced shelters. These shelters will be able to provide temporary shelter for patients who are being evacuated from devastated hospitals and will also be able to stabilize patients who may experience an acute need now and in the days to come.

    Providers are being asked to help in 2 ways:

    --Send staffing for the medical shelters (each will require about 100 people)

    --Provide services for any inpatients who may need to be transported out of the region.

    Our local hospital is gathering volunteers to staff the shelters, and has volunteered to accept patients from the hurricane area if needed.

    posted by Sydney on 9/01/2005 08:32:00 PM 0 comments


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