February 13, 2010-A group of Johns Hopkins physicians and nurses will leave Baltimore Sunday to assist Haiti earthquake victims undergoing treatment onboard the USNS Comfort, stationed off the Haitian coast.
Under an agreement with the U.S. Navy, Johns Hopkins Medicine is planning to deploy six more medical groups to the Comfort during the next 12 weeks to continue care for victims of the island-nation’s massive earthquake in January.
Johns Hopkins is the only medical institution in Maryland that has set up an ongoing stream of volunteer medical personnel for the Comfort (T-AH 20) mission in Haiti. Currently there are three Johns Hopkins Medicine staff members serving on the Navy’s floating hospital, a pediatric intensive care nurse, a nurse anesthetist and an anesthesiologist.
“Johns Hopkins has world-class medical expertise and we’re privileged to be able to bring this to the many injured and suffering people of Haiti,” says James Scheulen, executive director of the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR), which established the Hopkins partnership with the Navy.
“We believe that by bringing together top logistics and other experts from the Navy with top medical experts from Johns Hopkins we’ll provide the very best America has to offer our Caribbean neighbor,” says Scheulen.
“We are working closely with many civilian organizations like Johns Hopkins who are playing a key role in our ability to sustain the long-term mission of care for the people of Haiti,” says Warren Lockette, medical officer and special assistant to the commander, U.S. Navy Fourth Fleet.
All of the Hopkins groups are being deployed as part of the Johns Hopkins Go Team, a multidisciplinary group trained to respond to disasters and funded through a federal grant.
The medical team departing this weekend will be led by Christina Catlett, M.D., an emergency physician at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and director of the Go Team. Dr. Catlett has served in a number of other disasters, including helping victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Ivan and Rita.
Onboard the Comfort, Dr. Catlett and her team will provide patient care for a two-week tour of duty and then will be replaced by a fresh Hopkins Go Team.
The team headed for Haiti this weekend is the fourth group of medical experts that CEPAR has arranged to deploy to help in Haiti. CEPAR provides administrative and logistical support to the Go Team.
The Go Team group that departed to Haiti in late January and worked for two weeks at medical tents and at University Hospital in Port-au-Prince has just returned to Baltimore. The seven-member team was lead by Thomas Kirsch, M.D., M.P.H., an emergency physician at Hopkins Hospital and disaster expert.
To read reports and see photos filed by Johns Hopkins medical experts in Hait, visit: http://hopkins-in-haiti.blogspot.com/
To see a video about the Go Team, read blogs and reports from medical experts in Haiti, and keep up with Johns Hopkins’ relief efforts, visit: www.hopkinsmedicine.org/haiti
To learn more about CEPAR visit: www.hopkins-cepar.org
To arrange expert interviews, photos or B-roll credentialed media may contact:
Mark Guidera, Communications Manager, Johns Hopkins Medicine Marketing & Communications