For Release: September 2, 2005

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Message to the DMS Community on Hurricane Katrina

As would be expected in a community of caring people there are many who want to do something to assist those in distress in the Gulf Coast Region. With each passing day, the magnitude of the problem increases. I wanted to share with you some of the things that are going on right now at Dartmouth Medical School in response to Hurricane Katrina. As many of you know there are two medical schools in New Orleans alone and questions have arisen as to our ability to assist fellow students. The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) has taken the lead in this area to assist the schools and the students in developing a plan for continuation of studies for the students. We have committed to assist the AAMC in those efforts.

Since there were many large teaching hospitals in the affected areas the question of Resident study must be addressed. That issue is, again, being managed centrally rather than on an ad hoc basis. In terms of Research and Graduate study in the basic sciences the situation is less clear but is being evaluated. At the present time we are advising all to first take care of themselves and their families, and to give the appropriate authorities the opportunity to formulate a coordinated plan for continuation of studies.

Many of us have friends, family and alumni in the affected areas. Some of our students are reaching out to them in conjunction with the new bridge program and the alumni office to let them know we care, and to formulate ways in which we might offer meaningful assistance. Some of our clinical staff is actually assisting in the rescue operations and I fully expect that in the future many of us will be touched by this disaster. We all have seen gas and oil prices increase to new levels and expect more of the same given that there may be as many as 10 plants out of operation. With our New England weather it would be wise for all of us to begin to find ways to conserve our resources now. There may be many who we will come into contact with that have family and friends directly affected by this disaster or who just are overwhelmed by what they see each night on the TV. As members of a caring community we need to reach out and take care of each other. We will continue to keep you posted on the Dartmouth response.

Please have a safe long weekend.
Charles Mannix, Associate Dean and Chief Operating Officer, DMS


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