MGH Response to Gulf Coast in aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina
Update: September 29, 2005
IMSURT: Team returning home today
through Saturday, Oct. 1.
Project HOPE: Team returning home
today. Three employees will remain on board until Monday, October
DMAT: One nurse remains stationed
Operation Helping Hand: Organized
by the Department of Health and Human Services; included 12 MGH
clinicians who will return home Sunday, Oct. 2 -- they were stationed
for two weeks in Baton Rouge, LA. MGH may need to deploy additional
teams for mental health, primary care and nursing, to sustain continuity
in shelter care.
As you may have heard, Massachusetts yesterday
and early this morning received a limited number of Hurricane Katrina
evacuees from the Gulf Coast, who have been housed temporarily at
Camp Edwards at the Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod. At this time,
the MGH has not been asked to provide volunteers for this effort.
The hospital continues to support the DMAT, IMSuRT and Project
HOPE teams that have been deployed to the affected region to help
in the relief efforts.
to Hotline coverage of the response efforts
Posted: September 7, 2005
We continue to be enormously proud of and inspired by the incredible
efforts that the MGH community is making to help the thousands of
people whose lives have been uprooted by the devastation and destruction
of Hurricane Katrina. Labor Day weekend proved to be a very busy
and poignant time for many MGH staff members who have been - or
will be - involved in disaster relief efforts. The outpouring of
support and interest from every corner of this hospital in finding
out both what we as an institution are doing and what we as individuals
can do has truly been extraordinary.
The MGH has been in close touch with the major organizations that
have been dealing with the medical aspects of this disaster, and
many of our staff members are involved in several specific relief
Following is a list of MGHs ongoing involvement in specific
- DMAT - Currently there are six
members of the MGH community who have been working along the Gulf
Coast of Mississippi with the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). MGH members of the DMAT,
which was deployed Aug. 30, include two nurses,
two social workers, one pharmacist and one security
- IMSuRT - On Saturday, Sept. 3,
FEMA activated the IMSuRT-East, which is headed by Susan Briggs,
MD, an MGH trauma surgeon. Thirty-seven members of this team
- 21 of them from the MGH - left Logan Airport Sunday and traveled
to Baton Rouge to deliver care to hurricane victims.
- Project HOPE - The Navy hospital
ship the USNS
Comfort is heading toward the Gulf of Mexico, preparing to
provide medical care to those affected by the storm. Jeanette
Ives Erickson, RN, and Larry Ronan, MD, MGH primary care physician
and director of the Durant
Fellowship Program, have been organizing MGH staff members
who will deliver care on the ship. The first team, which will
leave later this week for a two-week deployment, includes 22
nurses, two social workers, six physicians and one pharmacist.
Karen Holland, RN, from the MGH Emergency Department, is serving
as chief nurse for this mission and is already on the ship.
A second group of MGHers is expected to leave Boston Sept. 26
for a similar two-week deployment.
- The MGH has been working with state and local agencies and organizations
as part of the Metropolitan
Medical Response System (MMRS) to ensure that the collective
Boston health care system is prepared to accept and provide services
for any acutely ill patients from the hurricane zone who may be
transported to the Boston area. While the plan for Massachusetts
to receive 2,500 evacuees from the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast
is currently on hold, should any people come to Otis we expect
that they will not be in need of acute medical services and will
go directly to Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod.
- While we are uncertain at this point whether the Boston area
will receive evacuees from the Gulf Coast who need more specific
medical services, a plan is in place that calls for such patients
to be flown directly to Logan Airport where they would be triaged
and then transported to area hospitals. The MGH is one of many
hospitals in Boston that would receive such patients. Like other
hospitals in the area, the MGH has organized both adult and pediatric
medical triage teams that could be sent to Logan Airport to help
with the process. Ann Prestipino, senior vice president for Surgical
and Anesthesia Services and Clinical Business Development and
chair of the Emergency Management Preparedness Committee, and
Maryfran Hughes, RN, nurse manager for the Emergency Department,
have been working closely with state and local officials to coordinate
- The MGH Chaplaincy and Administration sponsored a healing service
for those affected by Hurricane Katrina. The MGH community was
invited to gather together to show support for the many people
who have experienced such tremendous loss in this horrific event.
We are thankful for the many people in this hospital who are playing
an important role in the response to this unprecedented national
disaster. The dedicated men and women of the MGH are demonstrating
once again that this is an institution that stands ready to respond
to any situation - at any time - with concern, compassion and care.
We are truly proud to be a part of this extraordinary community.
Peter L. Slavin, MD
David F. Torchiana, MD
Chairman and CEO, MGPO