Magazine article The Nation's Health

Affiliates Get Involved in Local, National Hurricane Relief Efforts

Magazine article The Nation's Health

Affiliates Get Involved in Local, National Hurricane Relief Efforts

Article excerpt

OVER THE SUMMER, the southern U.S. and its territories were slammed by massive hurricanes. The natural disasters resulted in loss of life, as well as billions of dollars in damage. APHA's affiliated state and regional public health associations in affected regions took part in relief efforts to keep their communities safe and informed.

Louisiana Public Health Association President-elect David Holcombe, MD, MSA, an APHA member, was on the ground during Hurricane Harvey in August at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center mega shelter in Alexandria, Louisiana. Holcombe led the medical special needs section at the facility. In ensuring people's medical needs were met, public health workers teamed with emergency management services and the state department of transportation, he said.

Even in the midst of chaos, Holcombe said he was proud to witness such a well-coordinated public health effort.

"This is a huge ... collaboration action, which includes many, many people," Holcombe told The Nation's Health.

Keeping public health professionals and residents in affected areas up to date is another key component of response efforts. Catherine Crooksley, DrPH, Affiliate representative to APHA's Governing Council for the Texas Public Health Association, posted updates on social media, such as telling people via Facebook how to apply for assistance via the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The communication will be ongoing to ensure that public health professionals are all on the same page. …

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