Duke to Staff Second Field Hospital in Mississippi
DURHAM, N.C. -- The National Institutes of Health has asked
Duke Medicine to help staff one of 40 field hospitals being set
up in response to last week's disaster.
This afternoon, 21 doctors, nurses and other clinicians from
Duke were flown by a government-chartered jet to Meridian,
Miss. to help staff a U.S. government field hospital being
established at Key Air Field, a National Guard post. The Duke
team will serve under the direction of the NIH. Equipment for
the hospital is being brought in by the Federal Emergency
A second group of 23 Duke clinicians plans to fly to the
Meridian field hospital tomorrow.
"The extent of last week's tragedy has become painfully
clear," said Victor J. Dzau, Chancellor for Health Affairs and
President and CEO of the Duke University Health System.
"Thousands may have died and hundreds of thousands have been
left homeless in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Federal
and state disaster resources have been overwhelmed. Therefore
it is imperative that Duke commit its expertise and resources
to the relief effort. Our response must be rapid, sustained
and, in every moment, compassionate."
The current plan calls for the Meridian field hospital to
have 250 beds, and to be able to treat adult and pediatric
patients with a variety of medical problems. The Duke
physicians being deployed are specialists in emergency
medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, cardiology,
obstetrics and gynecology. The hospital will be set up in an
aircraft hangar at the facility.
The Meridian field hospital is the second medical relief
effort Duke has joined. At 3:00 p.m. Sunday, a team of five
nurses and technicians from Duke University Hospital and Durham
Regional Hospital arrived in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, near
Gulfport, as part of a larger contingent that brought a 100-bed
mobile hospital to the stricken community. The Duke personnel
are part of a 100-member medical team drawn from hospitals and
EMS agencies across North Carolina that was dispatched to the
disaster area Friday night.
Duke Medicine sent an e-mail today telling its doctors,
nurses, and other clinicians how they can volunteer for
hurricane relief assignments. Duke will draw from this pool of
volunteers if additional help is requested by the federal
For updates on Duke Medicine's hurricane relief efforts,
please go to www.dukemednews.org.