As Hurricane Gustav barreled its way toward the Gulf Coast last week, members of the state's federal disaster response teams were among those who made their way to Louisiana to aid in medical relief efforts underway there. The MGH contingent included members of the MA-1 disaster medical assistance team (DMAT), the MGH-sponsored International Medical Surgical Response Team (IMSuRT) and the Burn Specialty Team, jointly sponsored by the MGH and Shriners Hospital.
Since their arrival Aug. 28, the MGH team has been stationed at a federal medical center – housed in a local gymnasium – in Baton Rouge. Initially, the group provided medical care to special needs evacuees from New Orleans, but major power outages in the wake of the storm brought hundreds of additional patients from medical centers in the areas surrounding the city.
The MGH crew members are Maurice Isenhart of Police and Security; Karon Konner, LICSW, MSW, of Social Services; Nick Merry, RN, of the Medical Intensive Care Unit; Jacquelyn Nally, RN, of Emergency Services; and Brenda Whelan, RN; of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. Susan Briggs, MD, of the MGH Department of Surgery and director of IMSuRT, coordinated the hospital's response efforts.
A HELPING HAND: MGHers join disaster response teams in Louisiana.