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AR Public Health Officer Assisted Federal Health Response to Hurricane Harvey

Posted: Nov 06, 2017 07:30 PM CST

CONWAY, Ark. (News release) – A public health officer in Conway, Arkansas, Emily Harris, has returned home after assisting the federal medical response to Hurricane as part of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS).

Harris serves as a member of an NDMS Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT).
 
During the response to Hurricane Harvey, NDMS personnel along with U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS) officers provided care to more than 5,300 patients.
 
“Dedicated members of the NDMS from around the country were vital to the medical response to Hurricane Harvey and providing needed care to those affected by this devastating storm,” NDMS’s Acting Director Ron Miller said. “NDMS’ goal is to provide the best care in the worst of times, and we will be there to serve until states no longer need us.”
 
The NDMS is a federal program that can support communities with medical care and mortuary assistance during disasters or public health emergencies at the request of states; NDMS is among the resources made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). 
 
During the response to Hurricane Harvey, NDMS and US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officers operated a 250-bed Federal Medical Station at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston and provided care at other locations in the area.
 
NDMS teams consist of physicians, nurses, veterinary staff, paramedics, fatality management professionals, and experienced command and control staff. When an emergency overwhelms local and state resources, ASPR looks to the expertise within NDMS and USPHS from across the country to assist in the response. 
 
The NDMS comprises approximately 5,000 medical public health, and emergency management professionals, organized into more than 70 response teams. Although they hail from communities nationwide, when deployed they are federal government employees working as part of a coordinated federal response.

To see photos of their efforts in Texas, visit their Flickr album here. 

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