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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Without lines of communication - How to obtain effective functionality immediately following a major disaster: A case study

Jeanette Magnus, MD, PhD1, Danielle Broussard, PhD (Candidate)2, Antor Ndep Ola, MPH, CHES2, Gail Rome2, and Meshawn Tarver, MPH2. (1) Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 143 S. Liberty Street SL-29, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-988-2181, jmagnus@tulane.edu, (2) School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, 1440 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina, the worst natural disaster in U. S. history, caused an unplanned major disruption in programs and plans affecting thousands of individuals. The New Orleans area was especially hard hit.

The facility of the Tulane Xavier National Center of Excellence in Women's Health (TUXCOE) received 4 feet of water. All operations and methods of communication were shut down. The staff evacuated and were displaced across the continental US. As a result all ongoing programs were abruptly and without warning suspended.

The TUXCOE Center had been actively engaged in educational and outreach workshops; community and university based leadership programs; clinical, epidemiological and community based research; as well as a fully operational major comprehensive women's health clinic. Supporting these programs was a network of professionals and a substantial internal infrastructure.

What were the first steps in recovery? A case study will be presented including valuable lessons learned that can be very useful to small as well as large organizations in times of disaster.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, participants in this session will be able to

Keywords: Community Outreach, Access

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

Quality Improvement in Public Health: Opportunities and Challenges

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA