Norfolk, VA - September 6, 2005 - At the request of the Department of Health and Human Services, Sentara Healthcare and Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters have assembled a 110-person medical team for Katrina Hurricane Relief.
After the request last Tuesday, Sentara and CHKD leadership solicited volunteers and spent much of the Labor Day Weekend matching skills and availabilities with the needs of the team, and finalizing the roster.
"We had an overwhelming response from staff at both institutions," says Pam Robertson, Vice President of Operations at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and a leader in organizing the relief team. "We have a lot of people disappointed that we did not have room for everyone on this trip."
On Monday morning, Labor Day, 110 nurses, paramedics, technicians, physicians and support personnel gathered at Brickhouse Auditorium at Sentara Norfolk General for needed vaccinations against hepatitis and tetanus, to receive an orientation to the task at hand from experienced responders.
The team was originally scheduled to depart Norfolk at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, September 6th, but that plan was delayed while federal officials decide where to send the team, and when.
"This whole process is very fluid," says Pam Robertson. "The government asked us to be patient and flexible, and were honoring that request."
If sent, the team will cover a two-week stint in a 250-bed federal medical shelter in the Katrina disaster zone or an evacuation site.