UNC Hospitals' Hurricane Katrina Response Blog


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.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


We pulled into Camp Shelby this morning. We expected food, beds, showers and fuel. Still waiting on fuel and food. There is a tremendous fuel shortage down here and the expected shipment has not yet arrived. While we wait an advance party including Chip has gone ahead to Biloxi. They are looking at the needs of the hospital there as well as a spot for us to set up. The officials here wanted us to look into setting up a forward trauma unit in Biloxi next to the hospital that was damaged in the storm. Once the assesment is made and the logistics worked out we will be back on the road. It is possible that this placement will not work out, and back up plans are being made. Despite an overnight bus trip with two stops due to blown tires, we are all ready to get on with this mission.

Biloxi Bound

Getting to be a long night. And to get longer. One flat already, another change needed on Duke's rig. In GA racing down the highway with Troopers leading the way. No speeding tickets tonight. Received plans. Heading to Camp Shelby in MS which is field HQ for FEMA. They plan to feed us and give us a turn in the beds for an hour beforw sending us through to Biloxi. Our mission is to staff the Biloxi hospital which has been completely inoperable since the storm. No OR capability at all. Sounds like Ben and myself will be busy. Have radio'd ahead to have them pull all supplies not wet. Regardless, we should have everything we need. Pulling through Atlanta just after 1 am. Running out of Treo juice. Will try to charge with FEMA resources.