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Johns Hopkins Responds
Hurricane Katrina
September 2005

Information for Potential Medical Volunteers

September 2, 2005

Dear Colleagues:

As you know, Johns Hopkins has decided to build its own 100-person team of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, technicians and others to respond rapidly if called upon to participate in the federal government's emergency medical relief plan for the Gulf Coast region devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

The disaster administrator for each part of Johns Hopkins is collecting information from staff who wish to volunteer for disaster response. If you have not yet heard from your department leadership, supervisor or disaster administrator about signing up, please let them know of your interest directly. Information they will need includes your name, credentials, license #s, specialty, e-mail address, phone #s (cell, home, work, pager), disaster experience, management experience.

Disaster coordinator names/organizations are: JHH/SOM — Howard Gwon, JHBMC — Mark Shamash, HCGH — Kenneth Shaw, JHHome Care Group — Dawn Hohl, JHSchool of Nursing — Claire Bogdanski, JHU (Homewood Schools and administration) — James Zeller, JHCommunity Physicians — Susan Crocetti, JHBSPH — Robin Fox.

Types of volunteers who may be needed include: physicians, nurses, administrators, administrative assistants, logistics experts, pharmacists, pharmacy assistants, supervisory nurses, advanced practice nurses or physicians assistants, respiratory therapists, social workers, pastoral care experts, clinical engineers and clinical technicians. (See full list below.) Health information and FAQs for volunteers will be available via a Hurricane Katrina link from the Hopkins Medicine home page: www.hopkinsmedicine.org/, as well as on the CEPAR Web site.

The information collected by each organization's point person will be forwarded to the Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR), which is coordinating Hopkins' response to the crisis. Employees also are asked to inform their disaster administrator if they already have registered with another group to provide assistance or if they are scheduled to be deployed by any other group to provide assistance. It goes without saying that department directors and supervisors must be informed.

Volunteers will need to be ready to leave on short notice for up to two weeks' deployment to the storm-ravaged region, where conditions are reported to be extremely hot and harsh. Volunteers will need to have recent immunizations against tetanus and hepatitis-A, as well as the approval of their supervisor to leave for an extended period. Whenever staff members volunteer to leave their positions temporarily to respond to a crisis elsewhere, other staff members must be available to volunteer to assume the duties of their absent colleagues.

While awaiting further information about the specific types of medical and nursing personnel Hopkins may need, CEPAR is assembling its team based on plans it has in place for forming a "D-MAT" team.

A broad-based federal response to the disaster and ensuing medical crisis is being formulated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other agencies. HHS has declared a public health emergency in the entire Gulf Coast area and plans to build 40 medical shelters, each staffed with 100 medical personnel. Hopkins' team would be one of these. We also may receive patients evacuated from the Gulf region and flown to Baltimore.

CEPAR requests that any JHMI personnel interested in volunteering to go to a flood-stricken area not do so independently. Until the need in the stricken area is better understood, it is best for volunteers not to go there on their own. To do so could impede a coordinated response and would interfere with ongoing local response efforts. Furthermore, volunteers who go on their own may be turned away by local officials. The Johns Hopkins Health System's legal department also notes that Hopkins' medical liability coverage only can be extended to personnel who volunteer as representatives of Hopkins Medicine, not as individuals.

Thank you for your assistance at this critical time.

Gabor Kelen, M.D.
Director of CEPAR
Director, Johns Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine

A full list of the approximately 100 to 120 personnel being sought for deployment as volunteers includes:

Medical positions
12 Medical officers/Physicians
4 Pharmacists
4 Pharmacy assistant
8 Supervisory nurses
24 Staff nurses
16 Advanced practice nurses or physician assistants
16 Paramedics/Clinical Technicians
20 other support positions - types to be determined

Non-Medical Positions
4 Team Leaders (may be medical personnel but not required)
2 - 4 Safety Officer
2 - 4 Administrative
4 Administrative Assistant/Clerical
4 Logistics
2 Communications/Public Affairs
2 Communications/IT

Others desirable individuals
Infection Control
Social Work
Pastoral Care
Clinical Engineering
Respiratory Therapists

Go to
Johns Hopkins Responds to Hurricane Katrina