UT Health Center at Tyler physicians still treating nursing home patients evacuated from Hurricane Katrina

Thursday, September 22, 2005

More than 30 residents evacuated from a nursing home in Kenner, La., outside of New Orleans are still housed at Briarcliff Health Center in Tyler, said Kent Davis, MD, director of the Center for Healthy Aging at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler.

"These residents are likely to remain in Tyler for the foreseeable future, especially given the present situation with Hurricane Rita," Dr. Davis said Thursday, Sept. 22. About 1.3 million people are evacuating the Texas Gulf Coast in response to that hurricane’s approach.

The displaced residents arrived at Briarcliff three weeks ago, on Sept. 1. They traveled by bus from the Chateau Living Center in Kenner, La. Hurricane Katrina severely damaged the nursing home, leaving the 250 residents with only six staff members to care for them.

Dr. Davis and Thomas Belt, MD, an internal medicine physician at UTHSCT, are overseeing medical care for about one-third of the displaced residents. The nursing home residents have medical conditions that prevent them from being able to live on their own, such as dementia and severe arthritis. Dr. Davis and Dr. Belt will make sure the displaced nursing home residents receive the medical care they need until they can return to Louisiana.

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