SEPT. 19, 2005 | Hundreds of volunteers, including a small army of health care workers, were waiting when the buses full of hurricane evacuees arrived at Fort Chaffee on Sept. 3.
The organization of doctors and health care workers and the systematic treatment of evacuees that followed was no accident.
Through its seven Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) – even before Hurricane Katrina had its name – the Regional Programs office at the
When the mile-long line of buses pulled up outside
All of the AHECs, led by Charles Cranford, D.D.S., vice chancellor for Regional Programs and Steve Strode, M.D., director of research and professional development for Regional Programs, had recently begun developing a plan for mobilizing a Medical Reserve Corps.
The AHECs have coordinated their emergency response efforts with the Arkansas Division of Health, a part of the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services.
William Mason, M.D., chief of the Health Division’s Public Health Preparedness, said development of the local medical reserve corps had just begun, but AHEC Fort Smith faculty member Bryan Clardy, M.D., had moved quickly to establish the formal network of volunteers, which includes his colleagues at AHEC-NW in
When Hurricane Katrina hit, Clardy, who serves as unit commander of the new Arkansas River Valley Medical Reserve Corps, was tapped by Gov. Mike Huckabee to implement an area medical response for the evacuees sent to
The AHEC in
“We will be eternally grateful to Dr. Clardy for working with the Medical Reserve Corps and the AHECs at
Mason coordinated with Clardy to keep medical supplies and prescription drugs flowing to the
Strode and Cranford complimented Clardy and his
Meanwhile, faculty and residents at AHEC-Northwest helped local hospitals and area shelters manage the sudden influx of evacuees being dispersed from
Other assistance provided by UAMS AHECs include:
–Employees at several AHECs, such as the Delta AHEC in
–Three former AHEC Northeast family medicine graduates established an emergency medical clinic at the
–AHEC Northeast Residency Director Joe Stallings, M.D., arrived in
–AHEC-NE residents and faculty were the primary team caring for about 40 displaced mentally handicapped individuals at a church camp near
–Residents and faculty at AHEC Pine Bluff saw large numbers of evacuees at the
–AHEC South Arkansas in
–Janis K. Lewis, an AHEC-SA advanced practice nurse, helped conduct an advance assessment of needs in Pass Christian in preparation for the
–Senior residents at the AHEC-Southwest in
–AHEC-SW, led by Russell Mayo, M.D., residency director, provided care to more than 60 evacuees in shelters. Mayo also supervised a resident on call each night at the shelters.