Infrastructure| Volume 336, ISSUE 2, P197-200, August 2008

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Health Care Infrastructure in Post-Katrina New Orleans: A Status Report

      When Hurricane Katrina slammed into the gulf coast on August 29, 2005, it unleashed a series of catastrophic levee breakages that led to widespread, devastating flooding in the major metropolitan area of New Orleans. The health sector was completely disrupted across the continuum of care from primary care services to quaternary care. Most hospitals and other facilities including the academic medical centers were initially closed and operations temporarily relocated or reconfigured.
      • Hamm L.
      Personal observations and lessons from Katrina.
      • Berggren R.
      • Curiel T.
      After the storm—health care infrastructure in post-Katrina New Orleans.
      Further, the largest health care workforce efflux in United States history occurred, including the acute loss of thousands of physicians, a third of which were primary care providers.
      • Williamson D.


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        • Hamm L.
        Personal observations and lessons from Katrina.
        Am J Med Sci. 2006; 332: 245-250
        • Berggren R.
        • Curiel T.
        After the storm—health care infrastructure in post-Katrina New Orleans.
        N Engl J Med. 2006; 354: 1549-1552
        • Williamson D.
        Study shows Hurricane Katrina affected 20,000 physicians, up to 6,000 may have been displaced. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill2005
        • Kates R.
        • Colten C.E.
        • Laska S.
        • et al.
        Reconstruction of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina: a research perspective.
        Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2006; 103: 14653-14660
        • U.S. Census Bureau
        Louisiana Health and Population Survey. 2006 ([cited May 15, 2008]. Available at)
        • The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
        Giving voice to the people of New Orleans: The Kaiser Post-Katrina Baseline Survey. 2007 (Menlo Park (CA))
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        • Terrell D.
        Estimating the number of uninsured Louisiana residents under 200% of federal poverty in post-Hurricane Louisiana. 2007 ([cited May 15, 2008]. Available at)
        • Bernstein R.
        New Orleans’ parishes top nation in population growth rate. 2008 (Available at)
      1. Health risks among Louisiana adults: 2004-2006. 2007 (Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health)
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        Health care in New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina.
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        • Uddo J.
        The nine o’clock meeting.
        Health Aff (Millwood). 2006; 25: 483
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      3. Annual report. 2004 ([cited May 15, 2008]. Available at)
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        • Victor D.
        • Price E.G.
        Chief complaints, diagnoses, and medications prescribed seven weeks post-Katrina in New Orleans.
        Prehosp Disaster Med. 2008; 23: 41-47
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        • Price E.
        • Springgate B.
        • et al.
        Restoring and reforming ambulatory services and internal medicine training in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.
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      5. Plan to advance access to care. Available at:

      6. Greater New Orleans health service corps. Available at:

        • Stone G.
        • Williams C.
        • Campbell C.
        • et al.
        Assessment of the ambulatory care workforce in greater New Orleans: results from a Summer 2007 Survey of Health Care Practices in the Greater New Orleans Area. 2008 ([cited May 15, 2008]. Available at)
      7. Key facts: states most affected. 2005 (by Hurricane Katrina. Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured)
        • Baicker K.
        • Chandra A.
        Medicare spending, the physician workforce, and beneficiaries’ quality of care.
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