TEAM EFFORT: From left, Biddinger, Anahory, Droste, Durocher, Nally and Ryle at the medical shelter
The effects of Hurricane Sandy were particularly severe in New York City, its suburbs and Long Island, causing major flooding, structural damage and widespread power outages. Six MGH staff members who deployed Oct. 30 to help with relief efforts in New York as part of the Massachusetts (MA-1) Disaster Medical Assistance Team returned home Nov. 11.
The MGH team members – Jacquelyn Nally, RN, HAZMAT coordinator for Emergency Preparedness and disaster response manager for the MGH Center for Global Health; Paul Biddinger, MD, chief of the Emergency Department’s division of Emergency Preparedness and medical director of operations for Emergency Services; Allison Durocher, RN, of the Burn Unit; Robert Droste, RN, also of the Burn Unit; Lisa Anahory, RN, Emergency Services; and Karen Ryle, RPh, of the Outpatient Pharmacy – were stationed at an evacuee shelter set up in an athletics building at York College in Queens. MGH staff focused on providing medical care to patients who were primarily older adults from nursing homes and behavioral health group homes. They also helped address urgent or emergent medical issues among the approximately 600 evacuees on campus.
In addition to the MA-1 DMAT, Kira Provost, RN, of Emergency Services, recently returned from deployment with the Rhode Island (RI-1) DMAT to a medical needs shelter at the Brooklyn Armory. Although the official International Medical Surgical Response Team (IMSuRT) did not deploy, two of its MGH members, Nick Merry, RN, of the Post Anesthesia Care Unit, and Anthony Forgione, LPN, of the Operating Room Nursing Service, deployed to a supply warehouse in Fredericks, Md., to provide medical logistical support for the relief effort. While Forgione returned Nov. 15, Merry will stay for two more weeks.
“We are incredibly humbled by the selflessness and bravery of our MGH volunteers,” says Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president. “Our hearts go out to all those who are still dealing with the damage and destruction caused by this powerful storm.”
Read more articles from the 11/16/12 Hotline issue.