Inside Tulane Med: Quarterly News from the Tulane University School of Medicine

Tulane scientists share Katrina experiences with Sandy survivors

A delegation from Tulane University including John Clements, Lisa Morici and Elizabeth “Betzi” Norton visited New York University on Nov. 14 and 15 to discuss the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the NYU medical school and how lessons learned during and after Hurricane Katrina might help steer them through this crisis.

Dr. Kevin Krane and faculty educators
Tulane delegation arrives in NYC to give aid.

“We avoided making direct comparisons between [hurricanes] Sandy and Katrina because every disaster is unique, but some of our experiences were very relevant,” says Clements, professor and chair of the Tulane Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Clements met first with the NYU emergency management team. He was impressed by how thoroughly the team has thought through challenges including relocating researchers, mitigation, insurance and animal facilities.

“I was equally impressed by their description of how pro-active FEMA and the NIH (National Institutes of Health) have been in responding to this emergency,” Clements says. “I know that many of the NIH policies put into place after Katrina (extensions, supplemental funding) were a direct result of Laura Levy’s initiatives and interactions with the NIH.” Levy is vice president for research at Tulane.

The Tulane group met with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to relate “our own experiences and why we individually made the decision to re-commit to research and to Tulane University following Katrina.”

Clements also met with senior administrators to describe his experience as the senior health sciences investigator on the ground following Katrina, discussing how Tulane brought its downtown campus back on-line while preserving as many biologic assets as possible and allowing investigators access to their notes and research materials.

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