Update on Duke Medicine Response to Haiti Disaster
To: Duke Medicine Employees
From: Victor J. Dzau, M.D.
Chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO, DUHS
Subject: Update on Duke Medicine Response to Haiti Disaster
I wanted to send a quick note to express my heartfelt appreciation for the outpouring of support by faculty, staff and students throughout Duke Medicine in support of the people of Haiti. In just the past 48 hours, since President Brodhead and I sent out a university-wide email communicating outreach opportunities related to the tragedy in Haiti, the response has been terrific. The following will give you a sense of what has happened already.
- Anecdotal reports suggest that many hundreds, if not thousands, of employees have made donations to relief organizations working in Haiti. There are a variety of excellent options - including the Red Cross and Partners In Health - if you haven't yet had a chance to make a donation and I'd encourage you to consider making a contribution to the relief agency of your choice.
- More than 100 faculty/staff/students have already gone to the ServNC.org website and joined the Duke RAC State Medical Assistance Team (SMAT). Orientation and training of these volunteers will begin immediately in preparation for any potential deployments as directed by state and federal agencies. It is likely that the first wave of response will continue to be led by military forces, federal Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) and established nongovernmental relief organizations (NGOs) that had infrastructure in place in Haiti prior to the earthquake.
- Duke Medicine leadership is also aggressively reaching out to NGO's on the ground in Haiti, including Partners In Health and others, to offer more immediate man-power and equipment assistance as determined necessary.
- A website has been established as a central clearing house of information related to Duke University's Haiti response.
- Multiple student groups built in fundraising elements to scheduled commemorations of Martin Luther King day.
- DUHS and the University have assembled "Haiti Response" task forces to maximize efficiencies of efforts.
In addition to these, and other activities, we have instituted the following organizational processes to guide our ongoing responses. Drs. Monte Brown and Ian Greenwald will coordinate requests from the state, federal agencies and NGOs through our existing Duke Medicine health care crisis management process. Furthermore, Dr. Brown will work together with Larry Moneta, vice president of student affairs for the University, to coordinate Duke Medicine's efforts with those of the University.
We will work to keep you regularly updated on our collective response to the situation in Haiti. As has been the case in similar natural disasters in the past, the people of Duke Medicine are responding with incredible generosity and selflessness. And, while very proud of what you all have done to date, we must all recognize that the response to this disaster will necessarily extend well into the future. We are continuing to work hard to identify appropriate opportunities through which Duke Medicine can play an even greater role, keeping in mind the dynamic situation there and the immediate needs related to food and water, and overall security and organization.
Thanks very much for all that you are doing.