Thursday, October 13, 2005

Katrina/Rita -Letter from Don Chandler, Exe. Director, UHMS

To all--

I have not sent an update for some time now, but please forgive me as I have been occupied with a couple of trips away from the office (DEMA and meeting with our publisher of the ONR book that is just about finished). In any case, I am sure you know that recovery is underway in the devastated areas but the danger of CO poisoning is still a very real threat...maybe even more so now what with "mud-out" operations where portable power washers will be used.

You have read the good news, considering the damage Katrina did, about the NBDMT spaces in Dr. VanMeter's could have been much worse and we are thankful that people are beginning to get things in order so they can operate in a somewhat normal manner. With Pauline and Melissa back at work and Dr. VanMeter's staff working hard making repairs we can expect that things will soon be ship-shape once again.

Dr. Mark Silady sent us notice that the Department of Hyperbaric Medicine at Slidell Memorial Hospital is again available for consults and wound care. This is good news and is indicative of the recovery that is in progress...slow, but certain.

Remember that if any of you who were displaced by Katrina needs a roof over your head, Helen Gelly has a house in Western North Carolina (as she says, "...far from the hurricanes") that sits empty most of the year. She is willing to make it available during the fall and winter. Just email her at

Julio Garcia, Center Director at Springhill Medical Center in Mobile AL reported that "...the number of injuries and fatalities along the central Gulf Coast as related to generator usage is heartbreaking." Julio has done a yeoman's job of informing the local news media of the danger of improper/unsafe use of portable generators.

Our Immediate Past President, Dr. Neil Hampson is still working with the CDC with matters related to CO poisoning. Just in case you haven't had the opportunity to read the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report concerning Dr. Hampson's (and others) work with them concerning the very present danger, please see the's good reading and gives the UHMS a couple of good plugs.

Not of this subject, but important, is to encourage you to put our 2006 annual meeting in Orlando on your calendar as well as our 40th anniversary annual meeting in Maui, Hawaii in 2007. Not only are the rates Lisa negotiated in Orlando good ones, she also arranged for terrific reduced room rates in Maui (just over $200 for a 5-star resort yet!) that will include about 50 rooms at the government per diem rate of about $160. Both meetings are in mid-June and keep looking at our website for updates and additional information.

Finally, please be reminded that our temporary job listing for HBO employees displaced by the hurricanes is still active. Indeed, there are some permanent positions also listed. You will see the link as soon as you open our website page.

Keep the news coming of recovery activities and I will keep distributing it to our members.