Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Department for Public Health Sends Nurses to Help in Hurricane Dorian Recovery

A nurse “strike team” from Kentucky is on its way to help Hurricane Dorian victims in hurricane-affected areas in North Carolina. Today’s deployment was coordinated by the Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), along with local, state and federal officials. 

Kentucky’s nurse strike team consists of registered nurses and administrative staff members. They will be working in local shelters in Hurricane Dorian impacted areas of North Carolina. The team will be in North Carolina for about two weeks.

“The deployment of this team of public health nurses is a great reflection of how we continue to move the needle forward to a new level of service in the Department for Public Health,” said CHFS Secretary Adam Meier. “It validates all of the preparation and training this group has gone through. I commend them and thank them for their compassionate service.”

The strike team will augment staff to provide medical support to people who are displaced from their homes and are currently residing in general or medical needs shelters. The individuals housed in the medical needs support shelters have medical needs and are in relatively stable condition, but have a chronic disease or condition such as diabetes or require oxygen or dialysis. Nurses will be conducting medical history and physical exams, providing patient assessments, assisting with medicine administration, and providing general nursing care and comfort for these individuals.  

“Kentucky stands willing and able to provide assistance to those areas affected by the storm,” concluded Meier. “We have been actively preparing to deploy our personnel and assets to address critical health issues in medical needs shelters.”

Assistance requests are coordinated and authorized through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which is a mutual aid agreement between states and territories in the United States. It enables states to share resources during natural and man-made disasters. Under EMAC agreements, the requesting state reimburses all associated costs incurred by the provider state. Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) is the managing authority for deployment of all Kentucky teams and assets.

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