GREENWELL SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - A Greenwell Springs pharmacist is back in Louisiana after assisting with the medical response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico as part of the National Disaster Medical System.
Vicki Thibodeaux, who serves as a member of an NDMS Disaster Medical Assistance Team, travelled to Puerto Rico along with other NDMS personnel and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officers who, as of Thursday, have provided care to more than 8,500 people
"Hurricane Maria caused devastation across much of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and NDMS members from throughout our nation are helping respond to the residents' medical needs," said NDMS' Acting Director Ron Miller. "When a state or U.S. territory requests our assistance, we will be there to provide the best care in the worst of times."
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 and U.S. territories. It 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.
NDMS' 70 teams consist of 5,000 physicians, nurses, veterinary staff, paramedics, fatality management professionals, and experienced command and control staff who provide assistance when an emergency overwhelms local and state resources.
HHS personnel deployed to the U.S. Virgins Islands and Puerto Rico are providing life-saving care, helping stabilize health care systems including suppliers and regulated industries in the territories, and restoring services to meet residents' needs with a focus on services for people with chronic health conditions. HHS also is maintaining a physical presence in every operational hospital in Puerto Rico through a collaborative effort with the Department of Defense.
To learn more about HHS' response to the 2017 hurricanes, please visit https://www.phe.gov/emergency/events/hurricanes2017/Pages/default.aspx.