LLUAHSC employees respond to Hurricane Katrina disaster
In response to the tragic events that have occurred in the Gulf region, Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center is actively involved with relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina victims. Numerous requests from faculty, staff, and students all across the campus have come in to volunteer to assist in relief efforts. Both the Medical Center and University have evaluated their resources and are awaiting notification from relief agencies as to where and when they can deploy resources for best use.
Several Loma Linda University Medical Center employees are part of the Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) system, called previously for both the 9-11 disaster and last year’s tsunami aid. As of September 2, the DMAT 2 team, which includes Loma Linda employees, has been deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). DMAT teams consist of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and chaplains from local hospitals.
The Medical Center is currently working with the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program concerning the immediate care of dialysis patients, offering patient beds for a number of dialysis patients displaced from their normal treatments.
The LLUAHSC International Behavioral Health Trauma Team (IBHTT) participates in, and guides, if necessary, crisis-counseling services for victims and caregivers in times of disaster. They also are prepared to provide educational support so that crisis counseling can continue after the team leaves the site. Members of the IBHTT have been put on alert, and teams will be dispatched as requests are made. University officials are coordinating with Adventist Community Services directors in the Arkansas-Louisiana and Gulf States conferences to schedule the training.
University-specific efforts include participating with the Association of Academic Health Centers to determine the best way to accommodate displaced students, residents, and other health professionals in training.
Roger Hadley, MD, dean of Loma Linda University School of Medicine, discussed implementing emergency actions in a conference call with deans of schools of medicine across the nation and the director of the National Institutes of Health. The call was triggered by a request for help by the United States Department of Health and Human Services in responding to medical needs of Hurricane Katrina victims, especially those with complex conditions such as cancer and transplants. The School of Medicine is collaborating with the National Institutes of Health to determine areas of expertise and surge capacity for these needs.
People may donate to the “Disaster Relief Fund” within the institution that is used to sponsor the relief efforts of LLUAHSC such as transportation for medical teams to visit the site and for shipping supplies and other medical items. Donations are accepted through intercampus mail to the office of advancement in Magan Hall room 113 or can be made by credit card by calling advancement gift records at ext. 44155.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has separate relief efforts underway. Information on the Church’s response to the disaster may be found at the Adventist Community Services website, <www.communityservices.org>, as well as the North American Division website, <www.nadadventist.org>. The Adventist Community Services website also accepts donations for on-site disaster relief.
Those who wish to help with immediate financial assistance are encouraged to do so directly with one of the following voluntary organizations designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
- Adventist Community Services (800) 381-7171
- American Red Cross (800) HELP NOW (435-7669), (800) 257-7575 (in Spanish)
- America’s Second Harvest (800) 344-8070
- Catholic Charities, USA (800) 919-9338
- Christian Disaster Response (941) 956-5183 or (941) 551-9554
- Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (800) 848-5818
- Church World Service (800) 297-1516
- Convoy of Hope (417) 823-8998
- Disaster Relief (800) 462-8657, ext. 6440
- Lutheran Disaster Response (800) 638-3522
- Mennonite Disaster Service (717) 859-2210
- Nazarene Disaster Response (888) 256-5886
- Operation Blessing (800) 436-6348
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (800) 872-3283
- Salvation Army (800) SAL-ARMY (725-2769)
- Southern Baptist Convention
- United Methodist Committee on Relief (800) 554-8583