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Duke Medicine’s Relief Teams to Return Home


Duke Health News 919-660-1306

The following memo was sent on Sept. 15 to the Duke Medicine community from William J. Fulkerson, MD, MBA, CEO, Duke University Hospital and vice president for acute care, Duke University Health System:

As you are aware, Duke Medicine has worked to provide a unified response to support the medical relief efforts occurring on the Gulf Coast in the wake of Katrina. We are proud of the contributions our deployed employees and the efforts of our administrative staff and clinicians here at home who supported their deployment.

We currently have two teams of clinicians on the Gulf Coast providing care to those in need. The clinicians serving as part of the NC State Medical Assistance Team (SMAT) will be rotated out today and our other state trained team members are currently on their way to Waveland, Mississippi, to continue the North Carolina led efforts. The other team staffing a clinic in Long Beach, Mississippi, will return home this Friday having successfully provided health care services to the Gulf Coast communities during a crisis situation.

We have been in contact with the leadership in the two Gulfport hospitals. They have informed us that the local primary care networks, hospitals and pharmacies are returning to normal operations.

At this time, we do not have an outstanding government request for additional volunteers from Duke Medicine to assist with relief efforts. Employees who still want to volunteer and support disaster relief may do so through other organizations (e.g., American Red Cross, church affiliations, etc.). Individuals who volunteer will need to request PTO and coordinate their time away with their area manager and review professional liability requirements.

To those of you who have traveled to the Gulf as part of a Duke Medicine team, leaving your own families to care for others, and to our staff who stayed here to support the daily functioning of our hospital: thank you for your time, your dedication, and your commitment to providing care during the crisis.

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