Katrina Medical Recruitment Update

Statement by the Vermont Department of Health, September 9, 2005:

The State of Vermont is no longer actively recruiting select medical volunteers to join the pool of more than 135 select medical personnel who have already stepped forward to aid in the recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Deployment of highly skilled medical volunteers may still occur as first-responders and frontline medical personnel rotate out of the region; however, we are currently on hold.

Recovery efforts are expected to continue for many months along the Gulf Coast. The State of Vermont and the Vermont Department of Health, under the direction of Commissioner Paul Jarris, MD, remain obligated as a signatory of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) to respond to a possible request from the affected states. The governing body of EMAC has urged all individuals, organizations, and states to not deploy without being requested. Self-deployments are not covered for liability and reimbursement under the Compact and create problems for the state when they arrive.

The outstanding response by Vermont volunteers, who came together rapidly after the first call went out on September 2, demonstrated that our medical community is a group of selfless individuals ready to leave behind families and homes to alleviate suffering and save lives. This is a point of pride for the State of Vermont and the cooperative efforts of our partner agencies in this endeavor have been highly valued and greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your assistance with our volunteer recruitment to date. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Kate Traverse at the Vermont Department of Health (802/651-1561, KTraver@vdh.state.vt.us).