Gulf Coast's Post-Katrina Health System Recovering

As the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, the health care system in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast shows encouraging signs of recovery -- with important lessons for planning to respond to future disasters, reports a special August issue of The American Journal of the Medical Sciences, official journal of the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation.

The special symposium issue, titled "Moving Beyond Katrina: From Crisis to Opportunity," reports on the unexpected opportunities and successes encountered by the New Orleans and Gulf Coast health care communities since Katrina.

In striving to recover, "Individuals and institutions were forced out of their comfort zones to forge uncharted territory, foster new collaborations, explore fresh approaches to scientific investigation, redesign facilities, curricula and community healthcare, and better prepare for future disasters," writes guest editor Dr. Marie A. Krousel-Wood of Ochsner Clinic Foundation and Tulane University Schools of Medicine and Public Health and Tropical Medicine. The other co-guest editors are Dr. Errol Crook of University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Dr. Mark Kahn of Tulane University School of Medicine, Dr. Kent Kirchner of the VA Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., and Dr. Charles Sanders of Louisiana State University School of Medicine.

The symposium addresses four facets of "healthcare recovery and opportunities" following Katrina:

  • Patient-focused disaster preparedness.
  • Impact on Medical Education.
  • Health Care Infrastructure.
  • Healing the Healers.

For more information, visit www.amjmedsci.com.

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