Caring for a Surge of Hurricane Katrina Evacuees in Primary Care Clinics
JPS Health Network (JPS) was called to assist with 250 evacuees arriving in Fort Worth following Hurricane Katrina. Subsequently, thousands more evacuees would arrive to that location for medical triage and assignment to shelters.
We describe how a group of mostly family physicians and administrators of the JPS Health Network (JPS) took primary responsibility for 3,700 evacuees of Hurricane Katrina who came to Tarrant County, Texas. JPS provided medical care to 1,664 (45%) evacuees during a 2-week period.

JPS created a triage center located several miles from the hospital that referred almost all evacuees with health care needs to a primary care clinic.

During the initial 5-day surge period, the health care team comprised 8 attending family physicians, 1 attending psychiatrist, and approximately 15 family medicine residents. Time commitments ranged from a few hours to all day; physicians came and left as their other duties allowed. Other members of the team included 33 administrative staff, 55 nurses, 9 mental health professionals, 36 pharmacists and related staff, 57 clerical staff, 26 police and transportation staff, and 35 community volunteers.
  • Cross-sector staff deployments
  • Other
  • Cross-sector deployment
  • Mental Health Workers
  • Nurse Practitioners*
  • Nurse Specialists*
  • Nurses - Licensed Practical
  • Nurses - Registered
  • Pharmacy Workers
  • Physicians - Primary/Family
  • Students
  • Volunteers
JPS is the integrated tax-supported county health care system for Tarrant County, Tex, and sponsors the nation’s largest family medicine residency program. Additional resources include 27 community health centers and 10 pharmacies.JPS Health Network (JPS) was called to assist with 250 evacuees arriving in Fort Worth following Hurricane Katrina.
  • Community Health Services
  • Diagnostic Services
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Mental Health Services
  • Primary Health Care
  • Public Health
  • Urban/Suburban
Additional physicians and other support personnel were brought in to handle the extra volume.
The network had plans to such handle emergencies as plane crashes or limited terrorist attacks—scenarios that would create perhaps 100 acutely ill or injured patients. It had no plan to care for the needs of thousands of disaster victims who were not crit
Research Intervention - outcome data available
Edwards TD, Young RA, Lowe AF. Caring for a surge of Hurricane Katrina evacuees in primary care clinics. Ann Fam Med. 2007;5(2):170-174.
Thomas Edwards, DO
JPS Family Medicine Residency Program, JPS Health Network
United States
Published Literature

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