Scripps Medical Team Providing Medical Aid in Haiti

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The 10-person Scripps Medical Response Team (SMRT) includes trauma surgeons and trauma nurses, orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists and support personnel – all with disaster experience.

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There are people suffering in Haiti and we have an opportunity to help in a very real way because of our expertise and experience after Hurricane Katrina to care for those in desperate need of medical attention.

A group of Scripps physicians and nurses are serving a one-week medical mission at Hospital Saint Francois de Sales in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The 10-person Scripps Medical Response Team (SMRT) includes trauma surgeons and trauma nurses, orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists and support personnel – all with disaster experience. The crew will include Scripps CEO Chris Van Gorder and Chief Medical Officer Brent Eastman, M.D., who just returned from a four-day trip to Haiti. While there they determined the medical needs and were invited to bring back a team of doctors and nurses by Hospital Saint Francois de Sales.

In addition to providing much-needed humanitarian relief, the Scripps team will bring back valuable lessons on post-earthquake health care needs from their mission in Haiti.

“There are people suffering in Haiti and we have an opportunity to help in a very real way because of our expertise and experience after Hurricane Katrina to care for those in desperate need of medical attention,” said Scripps CEO Chris Van Gorder, who will join the first Scripps team to Haiti.

Scripps is actively involved in disaster preparedness. In the aftermath events of Sept. 11, 2001, Scripps Health established an office of disaster preparedness, which deploys the SMRT in times of medical emergency.

  • In 2005, 78 SMRT members spent three weeks in Houston providing free medical services to Hurricane Katrina evacuees, treating approximately 5,000 patients. Scripps’ support marked the first time the federal government asked a private health care organization for long-term support for a nationally organized disaster relief plan.
  • In October 2007, SMRT was deployed to Rancho Bernardo at the request of the San Diego Fire Department to set up a mobile field clinic for those affected by wildfires. Over the course of 11 days, 121 physicians, nurses and support staff provided breathing treatments, basic first aid, flu shots, prescription writing and grief counseling and support to more than 700 patients.

About Scripps Health
Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a $2 billion nonprofit community health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps cares for half-a-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,600 affiliated physicians and 12,700 plus employees. It includes five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, and an ambulatory care network of clinics, physician offices and outpatient centers. Recognized as a leader in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research and graduate medical education. In 2008, Scripps committed more than $150 million in capital and facility improvements across the San Diego region while providing significant charity care to the community – more than $268 million in uncompensated care in 2008. Scripps Health Foundation generated $46 million in charitable donations in 2008 to support the Scripps mission.

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Don Stanziano

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