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corner of content windowHurricane Frances News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 9, 2004
CONTACT: Jacob Dipietre  (850) 488-5394
                  Kim Reed (AHCA) 850-922-5871

Secretaries Agwunobi and Levine Tour Indian River, Martin, and St. Lucie Counties to Assess Needs of Hurricane Victims and Volunteers

TALLAHASSEE– Department of Health (DOH) Secretary John O. Agwunobi, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., and Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) Secretary Alan Levine surveyed facilities in Indian River, Martin, and St. Lucie counties today – three of the counties most impacted by Hurricane Frances – to identify needs that will help facilities return to normal operations as soon as possible. The secretaries also met with members of the Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) in each county, a regional group of volunteer medical professionals and support personnel with the ability to quickly move into a disaster area and provide medical care. Agwunobi met with a host of DMAT teams from Florida and other parts of the country: New York team in Indian river; Florida and Rhode Island teams in St Lucie; and Florida and News Mexico teams in Martin County.

“In the aftermath of a disaster, health care is one of the most important resources a community needs,” said Agwunobi. “We stand committed to ensuring Florida’s residents have continued access to health care resources as they rebuild and restore lives that were changed by Hurricanes Charley and Frances.” Secretary Agwunobi visited special needs shelters in addition to county health departments, while Levine focused on local hospital support.

“In the wake of two hurricanes, Florida’s health care system has been taxed,” said Levine. “However, thanks to management and staff at impacted health care facilities who work tirelessly to protect the health and safety of their residents, the health care system has been available to meet those needs. I am here to offer necessary state resources to assist these facilities in their efforts to recover.”

Throughout the next few weeks, Secretaries Agwunobi and Levine will continue to work with health care providers and facilities impacted by Hurricane Frances. In addition, local staff from DOH and ACHA are working to assist in their efforts to restore full services to area residents. The State Emergency Response Team, led by Governor Jeb Bush, and State Emergency Operations Coordinator Craig Fugate, will continue to hold briefings as state and local responders assess affected areas.

For more information visit www.doh.fl.state.us or www.FloridaDisaster.org.

Florida Emergency Information Line at 1-800-342-3557 Public Information Emergency Support Function: 850-921-0384

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Last updated: July 08, 2005

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