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Johns Hopkins Medicine
Office of Corporate Communications
Contact: Gary Stephenson
Phone: (410) 955-5384
Friday, September 16, 2005
HOPKINS MEDICAL TEAM LEAVES SEP. 16 TO RELIEVE GROUP DEPLOYED NEAR NEW ORLEANS
The Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) is sending a new 16-member medical team to Jefferson Parish, La., Saturday, Sept. 17, to relieve the 12-member Hopkins group that has been providing emergency care there for nearly two weeks.
The team, along with a group assembled by the State of Maryland, will depart from Martin’s Airport in Baltimore County at approximately 6:00 a.m. on Sept. 17 and is expected to return to Baltimore in two weeks.
The original team of three Johns Hopkins physicians and nine nurses flew to Louisiana Sept. 5 to join in a state-to-state relief mission to aid beleaguered medical personnel in the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast region. That team of physicians from The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, as well as nurses from Hopkins Hospital, Bayview, Howard County General Hospital and Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, has been providing medical care to hundreds of patients a day in a makeshift clinic the group established near New Orleans. Hopkins Medicine deployed the team in response to a request for assistance from the Maryland Department of Health and Human Services to answer Louisiana's call for help.
The new team comprises personnel from Hopkins Hospital, Hopkins Bayview, and Howard County General, will consist of physicians, nurses, a pharmacist and mental health experts. It will continue the work in the clinic created by their colleagues in a school not far from West Jefferson Hospital, the facility whose staff they were dispatched to aid. The Hopkins team has been staying at the nearby, abandoned Meadows Hospital, which at least has running water. They are eating military rations and report being in excellent spirits.
Other Johns Hopkins medical experts continue leading American Red Cross medical needs assessment teams in the Gulf Coast, determining the number of emergency medical facilities the Red Cross needs to establish there and what health care resources will be required to meet the crisis caused by Hurricane Katrina.
In addition, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is continuously reassessing the medical needs in the storm-devastated region and may renew its request for Hopkins volunteers to go to Houston, where many of the Louisiana and Mississippi evacuees have relocated.
The Hopkins efforts are being coordinated by CEPAR. More than 500 staff members from all parts of Johns Hopkins Medicine answered the call for volunteers that went out following the hurricane. Out of the 500, CEPAR has assembled a potential team of 109 to answer a call from NIH and from other agencies seeking assistance during this crisis.
“We greatly appreciate the continued willingness of individuals throughout Hopkins Medicine to offer their services,” said CEPAR director Gabor Kelen, M.D., who also is director of the Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine. “The outpouring of volunteerism from the Hopkins family and our sister Hopkins organizations has been gratifying and overwhelming, but not unexpected.”
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