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Health and Family Services Cabinet
CHFS Workers Continue Assistance with Hurricane Recovery Efforts in Gulf Coast Region

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, October 11, 2005  
Contact Information:  Vikki Franklin or Gwenda Bond (502)564-6786  


CHFS Workers Continue Assistance with Hurricane Recovery Efforts in Gulf Coast Region

Frankfort, KY (Oct. 11, 2005) The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is continuing to provide assistance with hurricane disaster recovery efforts in Mississippi and Alabama.


A total of 41 people on five public health teams have been deployed to the Gulf Coast region since September to assist with critical recovery efforts related to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The teams have been addressing critical public health issues including: food safety, food salvage and disposal, food and water-related illness, clean water sources, water sampling, solid waste and waste water system analysis, and mosquito control. The teams have also been coordinating and providing resource support for all public health activities in the six most southern Mississippi counties, including primary care, sheltering and public health operations.


“We are extremely proud of our public health professionals from the state and local health departments,” said Department for Public Heath (DPH) Commissioner William D. Hacker, M.D. “These dedicated men and women are trained to respond to many different types of threats to the public and they have voluntarily put their own lives on hold to help the citizens of the Gulf Coast.”


In addition to providing direct support of the hurricane relief efforts, DPH continues to seek licensed medical personnel to assist with the recovery as well as future health crises. The volunteer medical database currently consists of approximately 1,200 health care volunteers. Volunteers can register by logging on at http://www.katrinarelief.chfs.ky.gov.


“The need for volunteer licensed medical personnel to assist with this hurricane recovery will continue for some time to come,” said Hacker. “I urge those interested to continue to register as new volunteers may be needed.  We are maintaining an active database of medical volunteers in support of this crisis and for future use, should another event require the need for medical personnel support.”


Ten expert food stamp eligibility workers from the Cabinet’s Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) offices across the state participated in a multistate response through the 49-state Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which provides interstate mutual aid. Through EMAC, a disaster-impacted state can request and receive assistance from other member states quickly and efficiently to resolve liability and reimbursement issues.


CHFS agencies continue to work collaboratively to connect displaced people with medical, social and basic needs services, including: food stamps; the Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (KTAP); Medicaid; Mental Health/Mental Retardation (MHMR) services; DPH services, including clinical services and programs; and immunizations. Evacuees displaced to Kentucky can still register their information in the KHELPS (Kentucky Helps) system, which was designed to establish a central database for coordinating necessary services for evacuees. Information can be provided by logging on at http://chfs.ky.gov/preparedness.htm, visiting the nearest local health department or DCBS office, or by sending an email to chfsdphdoc@ky.gov.


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Last Updated 10/11/2005