Further update regarding outreach to Haiti
This latest update was provided by Chancellor for Health Affairs Victor Dzau to Duke Medicine employees
I believe it is important at a critical time like this to maintain an open stream of communication about the things that Duke Medicine, and the University, are doing regarding Haiti, as well as passing along emerging information about volunteer and donation opportunities.
In a note I sent earlier this week, I mentioned that approximately 100 people had gone to the ServNC.org website to sign up for the Duke State Medical Assistance Team. Among these people who have signed up are 15 faculty physicians and 30 nurses, and we believe at least another 10 faculty physicians are in the process of signing up this week. This continues to represent an outstanding response and, though there has not yet been a request from the State for activation of our team, orientation and training of these people will begin immediately under the direction of Dr. Ian Greenwald.
Also, it's important that you know we are now in direct contact with Partners in Health (PIH), a well-recognized nongovernmental organization working on the ground in Haiti, and we hope to be able to provide support through this group very soon.
I also want to pass along a new opportunity for medical providers to volunteer directly through the Health and Human Services National Disaster Medical Assistance Team. This is apart and separate from the North Carolina SMAT program and the details are as follows.
The assistant secretary for preparedness and response at HHS is seeking to partner with the American Association of Medical Colleges to identify specialty physicians who are willing to volunteer to deploy with HHS National Disaster Medical Assistance teams to Haiti. More specifically, they are looking for trauma surgeons, orthopedists and anesthesiologists, or others with experience in treating crush injuries.
Volunteers should be willing to work for at least a two-week period, and to live and work in the kind of austere conditions that we are now seeing every night on the evening news.
The preference in this project is for Creole or French speakers, and those currently credentialed through the Medical Reserve Corps in their states, or the ESAR-VHP (Emergency Services Advanced Registration of Volunteer Health Personnel) program. However, these are preferences and are not requirements.
Because volunteers need to be credentialed as temporary federal employees, volunteers will need to be able to provide credentialing paperwork as soon as asked. Credentialing normally takes about a week.
Interested physicians should contact Michala Koch at Michala.Koch@hhs.gov. While this program may not be able to accommodate everyone who wishes to help, all expressions of interest would be greatly appreciated.
Duke Medicine has provided thousands of doses of antibiotics to Family Health Ministries, an organization in Haiti in which Dr. David Walmer plays a critically important role. Our crisis management team is also working to draft policies and procedures to ensure that Duke employees volunteering through either the SMAT program, or through other avenues that might open up over coming months, have appropriate pre-departure vaccinations, access to post-exposure prophylaxis and other logistical support.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, monetary donations to relief agencies on the ground continues to be the best way that the vast majority of us can help in this tragedy.
As I said at the beginning of this note, I think a steady stream of communication related to our response to this tragedy is important, and I am committed to sharing additional information as it becomes available.
Thanks again for your terrific and generous response to this unimaginable disaster.