Duke Medicine Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts
The following memo was sent on Sept. 7 to Duke Medicine
faculty and staff from Victor J. Dzau, MD, chancellor for
health affairs and president and CEO, Duke University Health
During the course of the past week, we have all been stunned
at the devastation that has overwhelmed the residents along the
Gulf Coast. The magnitude of this disaster is hard to
comprehend, creating devastation that will take months and
perhaps years to repair. I know everyone in the Duke Medicine
community is eager to help. We are committed to working with
the federal government, regional organizations and other
academic health centers to alleviate as much of the pain and
suffering as is possible.
I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to the many people who
worked tirelessly over the course of the past week, including
the holiday weekend, to organize Duke Medicine's multi-faceted
initial response. Special thanks to Dr. William J. Fulkerson
and Pamela Sutton-Wallace who have coordinated this initiative
and to Dr. Peter Kussin who is leading DUHS's field operations.
We have sent two teams of doctors, nurses and other clinicians
to Mississippi to help provide medical care, Duke Medical
School is prepared to work cooperatively with Tulane University
under the guidelines of the Association of American Medical
Colleges to host medical students if necessary, and we have
prepared to accept patients from the affected areas that need
medical care. And still, there is much to do.
A tragedy of this size has long-lasting impacts, and takes
an enormous amount of collaboration and organization to ensure
that our responses are effective. I know that many are
frustrated at the lack of immediate opportunity to share their
compassion. I assure you, we will continue to communicate ways
to help as we discover and organize them.
To help coordinate activities, we are posting information
about events and opportunities related to Hurricane Katrina
Relief Efforts on the Duke University Health System Intranet.
We are also working with Duke University to post information on
a web page to help the entire
Duke community stay aware of what is happening and how we can
help. Please check these sites regularly for information on how
you can get involved in Duke's response.
To help those of us in North Carolina stay in touch with our
colleagues in Mississippi, the Medical Center News Office has
created a web site that will allow our people on the ground to
post messages about how things are progressing. It will also
allow Duke faculty, staff, and family members to post messages
of encouragement. The web site is at dukemedteams.blogspot.com.
In addition to our coordinated efforts, I encourage members
of the Duke Medicine family to do what you can either through
personal donations or by volunteering with the many service
organizations who are working to help the thousands of people
whose lives have been turned upside down by this event.
Again, I want to thank everyone who has helped thus far, and
look forward to continuing to offer aid and comfort to
Katrina's victims in the coming days, weeks and months.