As part of the response to Hurricane Katrina, a team of UNC Hospitals' physicians and staff left Friday, Sept. 2 to travel to the Gulf Coast as part of the MidCarolina Trauma RAC's State Medical Assistance Team II. The team from UNC Hospitals is comprised of: Christine Clark, RN; Randy Kearns; Preston "Chip" Rich, MD; Michele Rudisill, RN; Ed Wilson, RN; Ben Zarzaur, MD; and Janet Young, MD. A second team from UNC Hospitals left Sept. 9 to relieve the first group of volunteers. The second team to help staff the K-Mart Klinic in Waveland, Miss., is comprised of: Alberto Bonifacio, RN; Joe Manese, Radiology Tech; Peter Milano, 5th year surgical resident; Andrew Millager, Pharmacist; Jim Rawlings, Pastoral Care; Tina Schade-Willis, MD; Renae Stafford, Trauma Attending Surgeon; Jim Starlin, Air Care Communications; and Wes Wallace, MD., attending, emergency medicine.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Decamping Shelby

Yesterday was an important day to decompress and rest. With fuel issues and the mechanical clinks of the convoy meant we travelled all night straight through, and then had to set up camp. Everyone was eaxhausted and hungry. No 80 hour work week down here. Myself and four other medical people went ahead to Gulfport and Biloxi yesterday evening to plan. The devastation was unbeleivable. En route to Biloxi Regional Med Ctr, we drove past rubble piles as big as the buildings they used to be and downtrodden souls wandering about the streets. The Governor of MS has requested our presence in Biloxi, so that is where we're heading now. Although Biloxi Regional is getting back on line, we will deploy there and provide support until we are moved - if we are moved. The logistical coordination between FEMA, the states and everyone else is a serpent with no head. I've been on thw cell non-stop. The Army fed us, fueled us, and we're heading out of Fort Shelby, straight South 70 miles to the Gulfcoast. I'm writing this from inside the ICU in the 18 wheeler. Air Conditioned! 98 outside. I've offered to be the ICU go-to person, but I think the IC has seen through my superficial ploy for a cool comfortable environment. We're all very much a team, each of us doing a bit of everything. Hopefully, when we encamp in Biloxi, we'll set up the sat-com. Good news as I'm getting Treo fingers. We're all still so proud to be bringing North Carolina's unique resources to our ailing friends here on the Gulf Coast. Time to head back out from my happy cool little ICU to the heat of MS. Excited to head back today with the whole team.


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